Sliding Airport Road worsening

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By Cindy Simpson

A shortcut into Rockwood known as Airport Road continues to be closed; officials believe the hillside the road sits on is sliding.

State officials have been in to assess the situation, said Tony Brown, assistant to Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson.
“They have done their preliminary study,” Brown said. “The state seems to think it is like an upside-down ice cream cone. It is not just the road that is sliding.”
Officials plan to return in the winter when the leaves have fallen to check the hillside more thoroughly.
“It has moved in the last three weeks,” Brown said of the road. Work has been done in years past to stabilize the area, but it now appears those early efforts weren’t permanent.
Brown said people circumvented previous efforts to block the road, including stealing iron gates.
The road department has since placed rocks and other obstructions to help keep people out.
Brown said some motorists fail to grasp the seriousness of the situation.