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Single eastbound lane of US 460 now open after Giles County mudslide

Road will hopefully be open in early march

US 460 is closed after a mudslide on Sunday.
US 460 is closed after a mudslide on Sunday.

UPDATE Feb. 24:

Some traffic is now able to use US 460 in Giles County.

On Wednesday, VDOT opened the right eastbound lane of the road to traffic and, weather permitting, VDOT will have a westbound lane open before the weekend.

Westbound traffic will need to continue detouring around the closure.

Small passenger vehicles can use Route 649 (Lurich Road). 

All other vehicles, including commercial and recreational vehicles, will need to use Route 61 and Interstate 77 as detour routes.

Since Sunday, crews have removed than 1,000 cubic yards of materials from the slide location, including dirt and debris in the roadway and from the slope along westbound Route 460.

In the days ahead, crews will replace about 200 feet of damaged guardrail, install a temporary barrier wall along the westbound Route 460 shoulder and place large stones on the slope to help stabilize it.

VDOT estimates that all lanes of Route 460 could reopen in early March once the slope has been stabilized so traffic can safely use all four lanes.

UPDATE Feb. 22 5:00pm:

Shutting down an entire road and forcing drivers to find new routes around the Rich Creek area in Giles County, a mudslide continues to grow on Route 460.

It’s a stretch of land that is used to seeing this type of activity from Mother Nature.

“Route 460 is definitely a main artery for people going to West Virginia,” said Dorsey Bradley, who lives in Rich Creek.

But the pathway is closed as crews continue to clear the road from a large mudslide that happened on Sunday, just east of the West Virginia border.

VDOT Spokesperson Jason Bond said the clean-up is not going as swiftly as they would hope.

“Clean-up for the slide has definitely been hampered today from today’s rains,” Bond. “That’s really been the biggest issue so far.”

Still having no time frame of when they can reopen lanes, Bond said the slide continues to move.

“We just don’t know yet how much damage is there on that upslope and what it’s going to take to restabilize that slope so it can be safe,” he said.

Several drivers told 10 News they are concerned about safety as detours are redirecting them to narrower roads.

“I’m sure it gives tractor-trailers a lot of heartache to get around and to get away from this kind of situation,” Bradley said.

A situation this area has seen before.

A year ago, on Route 460 but closer to Glen Lyn, a mudslide blocked the eastbound lane.

With surrounding mountainous terrain, Bond said they are keeping an eye on the frequency of these mudslides.

With the mountain top coming close to the river, Bond said any long-term restoration would be costly.

“So any type of long-term solution is not something in the works currently,” he said. “Any type of walls or barricades would be costly and difficult to install.”

A mudslide in Giles County has closed US-460.

Authorities said the mudslide happened just east of the West Virginia border.

According to VDOT, cars can take Route 649 around the closure. Trucks will need to use Route 61.

As of 9:30 a.m., all westbound traffic is being detoured to Lurich Road and then back onto Rt. 460 in Glen Lyn. Box trucks, trucks towing trailers or campers, tractor-trailer and other commercial vehicles have to detour onto Rt. 60 West into Bland and then back to I-77.

There’s no word on when this will open back up.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.