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Mudslide closes one lane of U.S. 74A

GERTON — A short section of U.S. 74A between Gerton and Bat Cave will be reduced to one lane for at least several weeks while NCDOT crews repair damage from a mudslide.

The NCDOT reduced the two-lane highway to one lane — and installed a temporary signal controlling traffic — on Saturday when mud and debris covered the westbound lane. A small slide first started leaking onto the road last May following tropical storm Alberto. Heavy rains throughout the year continued to deteriorate a section of private land above the road.

Transportation officials are in the process of developing a long-term plan to repair the hillside and protect the highway below. Geotechnical experts will evaluate the area early this week and develop the outline for a long-term solution.

Minimal delays, roughly one phase of signal light, are expected near the intersection with Grant Mountain Road.