VDOT: Rt. 250 rockslide to be cleared by late July

VDOT crews work to clear and stabilize the rockslide on Rt. 250.
VDOT crews work to clear and stabilize the rockslide on Rt. 250.(WVIR)
Published: May. 26, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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AFTON, Va. (WVIR) - The closure of Route 250 over Afton Mountain may stretch for months. Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation are cleaning up a major rockslide that happened earlier this month.

VDOT says its working as fast as they can to clear it, but the department does not think the project will be done until well into July.

Excavators are currently picking up the debris and rubble littering the highway, while also working to keeping another rockslide from happening again.

“The slope is still very unstable. As we build a road we’ll stabilize above it, but that material below is still continuing to come down. We’re actually using that material to build our next bench,” said Will Stowe, a construction engineer with VDOT.

Stowe says reopening the highway is a two-part process: Building a road to get up the 80-foot rockslide, then clearing and stabilizing it.

“The real difficulty has just been keeping the soil nails going while we’re also building the roads and keeping that safe, because we don’t want to work on the road below somebody that’s stabilizing the slope above,” he said.

Construction will not interfere with anyone’s land or home, but Stowe says a rockslide this big takes time to clear, especially since weather or weight of the rocks can create issues down the road.

”Our best guess at this moment is July, mid-to-late July, and we have meetings every morning to progress that and beat that date,” Stowe said.

VDOT says it is working with police to put up more signs to keep drivers out of the area.

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