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I-81 section in Va. reopens, slope reviewed

Thursday - 5/30/2013, 11:10am  ET

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) -- A southbound stretch of Interstate 81 in Montgomery County has reopened with additional lanes to avoid an unstable rock slope.

The Virginia Department of Transportation closed the southbound lanes after the unstable slope was discovered on Wednesday. The slope is in a work zone where a truck climbing lane is under construction between mile markers 120 and 125.

VDOT reopened the highway Thursday morning after the climbing lane contractor paved additional southbound lanes to route traffic away from the slope. A barrier wall also has been installed.

VDOT says there's a 25-foot deep crack in the unstable section of the slope, which appears to be about 60 feet wide and 60 feet tall.

Geotechnical experts are working to determine the safest way to remove the slope.

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