Crews get to work on Highway 68 repairs thanks to sunny and dry conditions

(Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyCam)

Crews took advantage of dry conditions on Friday to begin repairing what is left of the roadway on Highway 68. However, things got worse heading into Friday morning in an area that's no stranger to road slides.

"This problem keeps happening and we've got to get it this solved," said Rhea County mayor George Thacker

After heavy rain, water continues to flow down the mountain for up to eight hours, which washed out more of the road.

"This is really troublesome for our people up here," Thacker said.

"We're trying to do all we can as a county. We told the state that anything they needed we would do as a county."

Contractors began clearing out the loose debris so they can begin soil nailing and stabilizing what remains. According to TDOT, repairs will also include more drainage and reinforcement to prevent it from getting worse.

Some Spring City residents stay away from this road due to fear of possible road slides.

"I got two boys and I don't want nothing happening in the car with them," said Johnny Rogers. "So I try to avoid going up the mountain as much as possible."

This portion of Highway 68 experienced similar issues within the last year. More problems date back decades ago. Mary Daniels remembers them.

"Different times, several different times that there was rock slides and then they would have to move big boulders," said Daniels.

Cumberland County's fire department and ambulance are assisting with emergency services. Mayor Thacker and the commissioner will brainstorm with TDOT on strategies for a permanent solution.

"After all this is done, we need to talk about this road," Thacker said. "What can we really do to get this thing maintained."

Mayor Thacker said a discussion with the commissioner and TDOT will happen on Tuesday of next week. He expects to receive an update from TDOT on Sunday, but the expected repair time is still expected to be four weeks.

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