Road crews struggle to clear W Road rock slide - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Road crews struggle to clear W Road rock slide

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A rock slide on the W Road is causing a massive road block not just for drivers, but also for highway crews struggling to clean it up.

It happened Friday night, but there's still no movement. That's because the Hamilton County Highway Department says while rock slides happen from time to time, this is the largest one they've had to deal with. While crews work to clear it, some neighbors say it's a sign something needs to be done to make W Road safer.

Crews are chipping away at an estimated 150,000 pounds of rock that's keeping W Road closed.

"Nothing of this magnitude. This is the biggest one we've had fall," Hamilton Co. Highway Dept. Director Harold Austin said.

It's so big, the county didn't have the proper equipment to clear it. Walden Utility Company stepped in and donated a beefed up hydraulic hammer so they could get the job done. They were finally able to start Monday.

"One the size of a dump truck, and then another little smaller and then another about the size of a car," Austin said.

It may be a beast to move, but Austin says he's both thankful and surprised these boulders didn't injure anyone when they decided to come tumbling onto the roadway Friday night. They did hit one car holding Kenneth King and his 2-year-old son.

"Looked like a bunch of ashes was coming off and then I slammed on the brakes, and hit it head on," Kenneth King said.

Both walked away unscathed.

Kimberley Evans lives just a couple hundred feet away from where the rock slide happened. She says she's seen countless accidents on W Road in her 11 years living there and has even hit a boulder herself.

"We need to be doing something about the condition of the W Road," Evans said.

That's why she and some neighbors plan to start a petition.

"Everybody that I've talked to is very concerned," Evans said.

They hope to get the county to do a geological study and possibly re-do the road or add netting against the sides to cut down on rock falls.

"There's certain things they can geologically check to see whether the ground is safe," Evans said.

The highway department attributes this rock slide to the rain we got last week, and typical erosion over time.

Now that crews have the necessary equipment, the Hamilton County Highway Department says their speed depends on how easily the boulders break. Then, trucks will have to haul the remnants down the mountain. They're shooting for Wednesday to re-open W Road.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:15:12 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:40:24 GMT
    (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.   A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...(Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
  • Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Monday, April 23 2018 9:28 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:28:23 GMT
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
  • Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:49:54 GMT
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More
Powered by Frankly