‘It was backed up so bad’: Large hole on I-40 overpass near Statesville creating traffic logjam

The lanes are expected to reopen by Tuesday
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2021 at 9:52 PM EDT
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IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - If you are traveling west on I-40 near Statesville you may want to find another route.

A portion of the interstate is getting repaired after transportation officials say a large piece of concrete from the bridge over Beulah Road fell out creating a hole in the overpass.

NCDOT says the road will be closed on I-40 West at the Old Mountain Road exit through, at least, the early part of next week.

Sky3 flew over the bridge Friday as crews were surveying the large hole in the middle of the highway.

Significant travel delays are expected.

On Saturday, drivers in the area described the traffic.

“Not as bad today as it was yesterday,” said Kenneth Davis, who lives nearby. “Yesterday was extremely bad.”

Part I-40 near Statesville shut down due to large hole on bridge
Part I-40 near Statesville shut down due to large hole on bridge(WBTV)

Traffic crept at Exit 144 on I-40 west Saturday just one day after officials closed the interstate for emergency repairs.

Open lanes were replaced with traffic cones and signs after officials say a piece of concrete fell, creating a large hole in the overpass and a logjam of cars.

Drivers now have to find another way or follow the detour signs to their destination.

Davis told WBTV he lives a couple of exits past 144 which means he’s also changing his normal route home.

“At that time, I had to get off actually on the other side of Statesville,” Davis said. “It was backed up so bad. I couldn’t even get two exits up.”

Davis said traffic moved more steadily Saturday but Old Mountain Road heading toward I-40 west is also closed.

Which drivers in town need a backup plan too.

“So the normal people that live here they’re not allowed to go across the bridge,” Davis said.

Davis said the closure isn’t just affecting drivers but businesses, including M&M Auto Sales and Service on Old Mountain Road.

“He ain’t had no business today other than I think maybe three people because of the way they’ve got the traffic detoured and shut down as far as here on Old Mountain Road,” Davis said. “So it’s affected him pretty bad.”

NCDOT says the repairs should hopefully be finished by Tuesday.

Transportation officials are telling drivers to take Exit 144 and turn left onto Old Mountain Road, then continue on Old Mountain Road for one mile and then turn right onto US 70 West. Then, continue on US 70 West for 4 miles and then turn right onto Sharon School Road and continue on Sharon School Rd for 1.5 miles and then use the entrance ramp to reaccess I-40 West.

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