Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 Investigates team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

Rockslide closes highway in Smith Co.

A rockslide closed Highway 25 in Smith County on May 9, 2013.

The Feb. 23 landslide that closed a section of Interstate 24 in northwest Davidson County will cost an estimated $8 million to fix, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The state expects to reopen the road on Friday, March 15.

The News4 I-Team is taking a closer look at other highways that TDOT is concerned about.

TDOT has a list of roads at the greatest risk for the type of rockslides with the potential to cause problems.

The number one location on the list in Davidson County is a section of Franklin Road near Lakemont Drive and Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood.

Rocks have fallen off the side of the hill where the highway was cut. The potential for falling rocks to impact traffic gives this location a higher score.

“I might have a location where there is a risk fo rocks falling, but I’m far enough away from traffic where I might have another location where I have a lower risk but it’s right next to the road,” said TDOT Chief Engineeer Paul Degges.

The risk scores are based on research done years ago by university students. Some sites have not been re-evaluated since 2003; some sites that were evaluated in 2003 and 2004 still have not been fixed.

TDOT is updating its survey and has hired consultants who are now re-evaluating 200 sites.

Number two on the list of highest rock slide risks for Davidson County is a stretch of I-65 near the Millersville exit.

Number three on the list is a section of Ashland City highway east of Old Hickory Bouelvard.

TDOT data shows that rockslides aren’t as much a problem in Middle Tennessee as they are in East Tennessee.

Polk County, for example, has a dozen sites that rank higher on the list than any sites in Middle Tennessee.

In Ocoee, TN, there were three major rockslides in a recent four-year period. Closed roads in one area meant drivers had to take an 81-mile detour.

TDOT spends about $10 million a year to protect drivers from rock falls.

One preventive measure is rock fall netting, which is used to help contain falling rocks.

Top 3 sites in Davidson County identified for possible rock slides

Top 10 sites for rock slides in Middle Tennessee

Top 10 sites for rock slides in Metro Nashville area

High risk areas for rock slides in Tennessee

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