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A popular shortcut between Rockwood and up the mountain into Cumberland County has been shut down.
Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson announced the decision to shut down Airport Road immediately Wednesday because of concerns about the stability of the roadway.
“This road has dropped. We've got some major cracking that is beginning to come into the road,” Ferguson said.
He said they were contacted Tuesday by a traveler who almost wrecked because of the cracks and shifting roadway.
Significant cracks and sinking had occurred in one area in the Rockwood city limits in particular, with more than an inch of empty space showing beneath the cracks in places.
Officials said the cracks had been growing wider, evidenced by the spray paint marks the county had put on the cracks and how it had shifted since being sprayed.
“Mr. (Tony) Brown had went up and marked the roads just a few days ago, went back up this morning (and) the road had opened up another three inches,” Ferguson said.
“We're concerned we could have a major slide with all this rain. We've had a lot of rain. We join the interstate (40). They've done a lot of work on the interstate you know last year, and there has been trouble up there.”
The road is closed to through drivers but the handful of residents that live on the roadway are being allowed to travel to their homes.
More information about the road can be found in Friday's edition of the Roane County News.