WDBJ7 Web Staff
9:05 AM PDT, March 25, 2013
BLAND CO., Va.
All lanes of I-77 are open after the boulders created headaches for drivers for the better part of a week.
Traffic started flowing around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Department of Transportation says the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 near the West Virginia-Virginia border might not reopen until Wednesday.
The department said Monday that wet and wintry weather is hampering efforts to clean up a rock slide and stabilize the hillside.
The department says it's not safe for crews to work at night. The work is being done only during daylight hours.
The slide occurred March 20 at mile marker 3 in the Bluefield area.
To prevent more slides, crews are pushing any loose hanging rock down the hillside with heavy equipment. Rock and debris are being hauled to a dump site along the interstate.
Traffic is being rerouted onto U.S. 460 in Princeton, where the highway reconnects with the interstate.
2:20 p.m. Thursday: Part of Interstate 77 North in Bland County and West Virginia could be closed until the weekend, according to CBS affilitate WVNS in Ghent, West Virginia.
A rock slide at mile marker 3 on the West Virginia side of the East River Mountain Tunnel is causing the detour. The detour takes drivers to Route 460 at Exit 1 toward Princeton, and back onto I-77 at Exit 9. The traffic backup extends to the Virginia side of the East River Mountain Tunnel in Bland County.
Expect 15-20 minute delays on Route 460, according to WVNS.
Interstate 77 South is still open.
Click here for more from WVNS.
10:30 a.m. Thursday: BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — The northbound lanes of Interstate 77 near the West Virginia-Virginia border remain closed because of a rock slide.
Traffic is being rerouted onto U.S. 460 to Princeton, where it reconnects with the interstate.
The slide occurred Wednesday afternoon and covered both lanes. No injuries were reported.
Division of Highways officials tell media outlets that they don't know when the northbound lanes will reopen. District manager Tom Camden says the slide and the hillside are unstable. Crews are trying to determine to safest way to clean up the slide.
3:45 p.m. Wednesday: A rockslide in West Virginia is causing big backups on Interstate 77 North in Bland County.
The rockslide is on the West Virginia side of the East River Mountain Tunnel at mile marker 3. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, traffic is backed up on I-77 in Bland County by about six miles.
One lane of traffic is passing through the East River Mountain tunnel. In West Virginia, there is a detour in place that takes drivers to Route 460 West.
According to VDOT, traffic can not be stopped inside the tunnel because of safety concerns. Therefore, traffic may be stopped periodically before entering the East River Mountain Tunnel.
The north left lane through the tunnel is closed.
1:27 p.m.: The north left lane on Interstate 77 in Bland County at East River Mountain Tunnel North is closed due to a bridge/tunnel stoppage.
Drivers can expect major delays due to the stoppage. Traffic is currently backed up for approximately 4 miles.
A detour has been established in West Virginia on Interstate 77 North at Exit 1.
Check back for updates.