CHARLESTON- The West Virginia Division of Highways will be closing a section of Interstate 77 in Mercer County to allow for controlled blasting of a slipping hillside.
The I-77 northbound slow lane between mile post 3 and 3.5 has been closed to traffic since December 2, 2013 due to the instability of the hillside. After consulting with a contractor, the WVDOH has decided to address the issue by bringing down the hillside with explosives.
Interstate 77 from mile post 1 to mile post 9 and a section of WV 112 that runs parallel to the interstate will be closed to traffic sometime between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13, 2013.
WVDOH crews and the contractor will work to reopen the southbound lanes within 30 minutes of the blast, once debris is removed from the roadway. The northbound lanes will remain closed the remainder of the day to allow for additional work by the contractor and to allow time for debris removal. The northbound fast lane is anticipated to open by dusk. The slow lane will remain closed indefinitely to allow for additional debris removal.
Northbound traffic will be detoured onto US 52 at Exit 1, then onto US 460 East, and back on to I-77 north in Princeton at Exit 9. Flaggers will be placed at strategic intersections along US 460 in Princeton to assist in the movement of traffic. Drivers should anticipate an extra 30 to 45 minutes of travel.
Local traffic is advised to use alternative routes during the closure.