UPDATE: One lane open on Highway 64 in Polk County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: One lane open on Highway 64 in Polk County

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Overnight storms brought much-needed rain to the Tennessee Valley. It was enough to cause a rock slide in Polk County. An early morning slide had Highway 64 in Polk County blocked, as crews worked to break up and move a large boulder.

"It's the rainy season and we are aware that when it does rain like this we need to pay attention," says Jennifer Flynn with TDOT.

Flynn says TDOT crews got an early wake up call Tuesday morning, when a large section of rock came crashing down on Highway 64, blocking both lanes.

"It's basically one large rock that they're dealing with. And they were going to break it up with a jack hammer, which didn't work out. The rock is a lot harder than they anticipated."

The rock came down with such force, it left a hole in the road that had to be filled and bent a guard rail.

Workers were able to push the boulder to the side to open one lane of the road to traffic. It is a job TDOT workers are used to.

"Our maintenance crews keep a watchful eye in that area because we know that it is prone to slides and we monitor it all the time," says Flynn.

This latest slide happened just a few hundred yards away from an existing rock fall fence, which was put to the test in a larger slide last August.

"It did a great, the rock fall fence did exactly what it was supposed to. But we had to get in there and clean it out because it was hanging out over one lane of traffic."

Flynn says if the section where this latest slide happened continues to be a problem, TDOT will bring in one of its geo-technical engineers to analyze the rock wall.

In the meantime, she is asking drivers to be mindful as crews work along the narrow road to clean up the mess.

"Once they break that down into manageable pieces, they'll just haul it away and the road should re-open."

With more rain expected, TDOT says it will make sure to keep a close eye on the rock wall in the coming days.

Channel 3 will let you know when both lanes are back open. 

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