Commuters who use State Route 85 in Fentress County will not be able to travel that route until next year.
TDOT Public Information Officer Jennifer Flynn said the highway between Sandy Road to East Obey Lane will be closed until May 2021 for rockfall mitigation.
“We know that there’s an area that is prone to rockfalls and rock slides, and instead of waiting for a rockfall to happen we go in and preemptively address the area to make it safer,” Flynn said.
Flynn said road closures should begin either Friday or next week. Detours are already placed in Monterey and Clarkrange for commuters.
According to TDOT, traffic traveling eastbound can use the Monterey detour route SR-164 to SR-62. From there, motorists will use SR-62 to travel to SR-28 to the Clarkrange intersection. Motorists will proceed then to SR-85. For westbound traffic, the Clarkrange intersection will have a SR-28 to SR-62 detour route. Motorists can proceed to SR-164 in Monterey and travel to SR-85.
“It’s unfortunate, you know it’s going to be an inconvenience for everyone who travels that area, but rockslides are also inconvenient,” Flynn said. “We want to get in there and make sure that this road is-that it’s not going to happen on this road.”
Due to an ongoing project, Overton’s SR-85 near SR-164 will remain closed until November 15. Key said this portion of the highway between the two counties are highly prone to rockslides.