Additional blasts needed to ensure area will be safe for through traffic
RALEIGH – Because of safety reasons, U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock will be closed past the scheduled 3 p.m. opening today as N.C. Department of Transportation contractors had to set off additional blasts in the area of Cliff Dwellers Inn at Westview Drive near the intersection of U.S. 321 and U.S. 221/U.S. 321 Business.
The blasting operation began after 11 a.m. and did not bring down any rock. Instead, it created a foot-wide crack in the blasting area, which raised concerns of the possibility of debris falling in the roadway. For safety reasons, additional blasts are being performed to loosen any hanging rock.
The rock will be loaded onto large dump trucks to be moved to a site south of Blowing Rock. Any necessary road repairs will take place prior to the road opening in the area. At this time, it’s uncertain when the road will be opened. Updates will be provided on the project’s Twitter feed (@NCDOT_EastMTN and #US321) and the project hotline at (828) 964-3260.
All through traffic on U.S. 321 will continue to follow a detour route onto U.S. 221/U.S. 321 Business through downtown Blowing Rock. Through truck traffic must follow the signed detour along N.C. 18 and U.S. 421 in Caldwell, Wilkes and Watauga counties.