TDOT Expects U.S. 64 Rockslide Clean-up to be Completed by End of March

Friday, January 08, 2010 | 02:23 pm
Crews Must Stabilize Eastern Slope Material Near TVA Dam Using Small Blasts and Rock Anchors
NASHVILLE – Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation announced today that work to clear debris from a massive rockslide along U.S. 64 in Polk County will be completed by March 31, 2010. The rockslide, which occurred on November 10, 2009, buried a portion of U.S. 64 in Polk County under thousands of tons of debris. A $2.1 million emergency contract was awarded to Charles Blalock & Sons of Sevierville, Tennessee in mid-November.  At that time TDOT estimated clean-up would take at least eight weeks. After several weeks of work at the site, crews have successfully removed approximately 6,000 cubic yards of debris and have stabilized the portion of Little Frog Mountain located immediately west of the slide. Crews must now work to stabilize the area immediately east of the slide, which is complicated by the presence of a TVA Dam directly beneath the unstable rock shelf.

Multiple Agencies Take Action to Thwart Invasive Plants

Thursday, January 07, 2010 | 12:25 pm
Tennessee is joining other states to eradicate Cogongrass, an invasive plant in the Southeast
Tennessee is joining other states to eradicate Cogongrass, an invasive plant in the Southeast
NASHVILLE A consortium of state and federal agencies, along with several private organizations in Tennessee, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding as part of an ongoing effort to safeguard the state’s resources from the potential impact of the most threatening non-native invasive plants. 
The MOU establishes a clear path for a strategic plan to be developed, pooling resources to prevent these species from getting a foothold in Tennessee. In addition, the MOU outlines the provision for a public information point source and a citizen reporting system if these species are detected. 

Polk County US-64 Rockslide Update For January 6

Wednesday, January 06, 2010 | 05:07 pm
Crew drilling to prepare for blasting.
Crew drilling to prepare for blasting.
Rock Drilling, Bolting and Blasting Continue
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Construction crews with Charles Blalock & Sons continued drilling the large boulders located on the surface of US 64 under the main slide area on Tuesday while workers hand scaled loose rock and debris from the eastern side of the slope.  Today Dyno Nobel set off a series of blasts to break up the boulders on the road surface so that the tracked hoe-ram can further process the debris into a size that can be handled and loaded into dump trucks to haul off of the site.  Sub-contractor Hayward Baker worked on the west side of the slide area to perform test bolting operations.  The test bolts will be installed and tensioned until they fail in order for a permanent bolting plan can be developed.  Rock bolts are used to tension layers of rock together to prevent future slides from occurring in a given area.

Polk County Rockslide on US-64 Update for January 4

Monday, January 04, 2010 | 03:51 pm
Large hoe-ram breaking rock
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Construction crews with Blalock and Sons resumed breaking up large boulders at the base of the slide using a hoe-ram after having hauled approximately 160 truck loads (more than 3500 tons) of debris off of the site on Saturday and Sunday. The contractor will drill the larger boulders and plant explosive charges to aid in breaking the boulders up into more manageable sizes. The contractor will continue removing debris from the roadway surface from the west to the east in order to make room for the extension of the 275 ton crawler crane pad which will enable the contractor to begin scaling, drilling, and trim blasting operations on the east side of the slide.

Polk County Rockslide on US-64 Update for December 30

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 | 04:08 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Construction workers set off a series of explosive charges on Tuesday removing the majority of the remaining unstable rock face on the western side of the main slide area.  Mechanical scaling operations, using a mini hoe-ram suspended from a crane platform, worked through today removing the reminder of loose rocks and debris left from the explosive charges while large hoe-rams worked to break up the boulders that are located on the roadway surface.  

Polk County Rockslide Update for December 28

Monday, December 28, 2009 | 04:36 pm


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Work crews with Charles Blalock & Sons continued scaling operations on the east side of the slope throughout the weekend to remove loose boulders and debris while workers on the west side of the main slide area continued drilling the slope face in preparation of trim blasting operations.  Crews also completed the construction of the 12’ high, 100’ long protective rockfall fence positioned above TVA Dam No. 2.  Hayward Baker, the rock bolting subcontractor, completed the drilling, installation grouting of the projects first test bolt that will determine the design criteria for the bolting locations, tension, and numbers for both the east and west side of the slope face.  The rock bolts are used to help anchor two or more layers of rock along a slope that may otherwise be susceptible to a slide.  Blasting subcontractor Dyno Nobel mobilized this morning to conduct a trim blast on the western side of the main slide area.

TDOT Clarifies Information About Federal Funding & Stimulus Projects

Monday, December 28, 2009 | 01:56 pm
NASHVILLE – A recent news story contained information about federal transportation funding rescissions impacting the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The article has resulted in several subsequent reports from various media outlets, many of which contained incorrect or misleading information that confused these funding rescissions with funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. TDOT would like to clarify that information for any future reports.

Polk County US-64 Rockslide Update For December 23

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | 01:13 pm
Crew assembling rockfall fence
Crew assembling rockfall fence
Contractor Hauling Debris and Preparing for Trim Blasting Operations
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Construction crews with Charles Blalock & Sons and Dyno Nobel set off a series of blasts yesterday to trim the unstable face of the western slope as part of the overall slope remediation plan. Blasting crews also set charges in one of the large boulders at the base of the slide to break it up into smaller pieces so it can be hauled off of the site. On the east side of the main slide mass, construction crews continued the assembly of the 12’ high, 100’ long rockfall fence that will sit atop TVA Dam No. 2 and serve as a added measure of protection against rockfall hazards that might otherwise strike and damage the dam or cable anchor bridge. Haywood Baker, the subcontractor responsible for rock bolting operations, mobilized yesterday to begin installing test bolts. Holes will be drilled to a depth of 40’ into the face of the rock slope, bolts will be installed and anchored using grout, and then the contractor will tension the bolts until they reach failure. This testing method will allow engineers to design the overall rock bolting criteria to help stabilize the eastern slide plane.

Bredesen Announces Aeronautics Grants for 13 Tennessee Airports

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | 02:33 pm
$10.5 million Provide for Infrastructure and Other Improvements
NASHVILLE—Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $10.5 millionhave been approved for 13 Tennessee airports.
“Our local airports are vital to the economy and travel system of Tennessee,” said Bredesen. “Investing in our airports helps keep them competitive and efficient at meeting the needs of businesses and travelers.”

Governor’s Highway Safety Office Launches Cumberland Crackdown

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | 11:00 am
NASHVILLE – Law enforcement agencies across the Cumberland Region are working together to save lives on Tennessee roadways. The Governor’s Highway Safety Office will join 88 agencies from 28 counties to kick off the Cumberland Crackdown at noon, Wednesday, December 30.
The Crackdown will be one of the largest enforcement events in Tennessee. Law enforcement agencies will be focusing their efforts on some of the deadliest highways in their jurisdiction (see list below).  These highways were identified by the Department of Safety using data from the present all the way back to 1994. Agencies will conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation points along these roadways from 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 30th until 3:00 a.m., Thursday.