U.S. 176 to open soon between Tryon, Saluda

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016

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Officials hope to re-open the section of U.S. Hwy. 176 between Tryon and Saluda by the end of next week, Feb. 19, after cleaning up rockfall caused by heavy rainfall and freeze/thaw cycles. Aaron Powell, engineer with NCDOT, said contractors used explosives on Feb. 5 to move large boulders from the embankment to the road in the affected section. He said that another blast, set for Feb. 10, would break up those boulders to make removal easier for DOT workers. As of Feb. 10, Powell expected the cleanup to be completed and the road re-opened by Feb. 19. “It’s just taking longer than it really should. We don’t want traffic back on that road until it’s safe,” Powell said, noting that guardrail repair must also be completed. (Photos submitted by John Cash and Dan Dworkin)