UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: Crews working on the Highway 460 mudslide cleanup anticipate the road will be closed tomorrow.
Thanks to Monday’s rain, the mudslide from Sunday afternoon is still moving, and workers are waiting for it to stop before cleanup continues.
“Unfortunately, it’s just the topography of where we live, in the mountains of Virginia,” said Jason Bond, VDOT Salem District’s Communications Manager. “We do see slides like this, particularly when we see saturation of the soil like we have seen during freeze and thaw cycles.”
A detour has been set in place for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
Passenger vehicles can use Route 649, also Lurich Road, around the westbound closure.
However, commercial vehicles and larger trucks will have to use Route 61 onto I-77 to get around the closure.
“We understand this is an inconvenience,” Bond said. “We hope folks will be patient with us. We are working to get the lanes reopened as quickly as we can.”
Bond said there hasn’t been an assessment yet on the amount of damage the road has taken from the slide.
That will come after cleanup and will determine when all lanes of traffic will reopen.
Bond’s questions include: “Will it be stable? Can we put traffic back on those westbound lanes? Will it hold if traffic is restored to the westbound lanes? Will we see additional material move, or will we need to do some type of repair, pulling the slide back, stabilizing that slop so that it is safe for drivers to use those westbound lanes?”
Bond also confirmed a waterline break, but it is unclear which came first: The waterline breaking and causing the mudslide or the mudslide putting added pressure on the waterline causing it to burst.
UPDATE 10:54 a.m.: Crews are shutting down the only open lane on Route 460 Monday morning following Sunday’s mudslide in Giles County.
The Giles County Sheriff’s Office says the open eastbound lane on Route 460 is being closed down because of continuing problems.
Therefore, passenger vehicles — including cars, SUVs, and single trucks — will need to detour onto Lurich Road.
However, all other box trucks, trucks towing trailers or campers, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles will need to detour to I-77.
GILES COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Sunday’s mudslide along Route 460 in Giles County will continue to cause problems for Monday morning motorists, with crews keeping the westbound lanes closed and only opening one eastbound lane.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a waterline break cased a mudslide along Route 460 in Giles County on Sunday, Feb. 21.
The department says the mudslide occurred just east of the West Virginia border, approximately half a mile west of Island Street in Rich Creek.
At 1:39 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 22, VDOT’s Salem District announced that both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane are still blocked at the scene of the mudslide, but one eastbound lane is back open.
Westbound motorists need to use alternate routes for their Monday morning commute.
VDOT encourages small passenger vehicles to use Route 649 (Lurich Road) around the closure, but commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles, and all other vehicles will need to use Route 61 as a detour.
For the latest information on Virginia’s road conditions, check out VDOT’s online traffic map.