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Major pothole on I-40 bridge shuts down interstate in Iredell County
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Major pothole on I-40 bridge shuts down interstate in Iredell County

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The North Carolina Highway Patrol has a request for drivers headed west through Iredell County.

“Stay off the interstate,” said First Sgt. Daniel Hall.

That’s because a hole in a bridge has closed Interstate 40 West in the western part of the county. And the interstate is expected to remain closed through at least Tuesday — possibly Wednesday, Hall said.

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A large chunk of the bridge's surface apparently fell in. In one photo, the ground below is visible. The bridge is undergoing emergency repairs, which began Friday. The North Carolina Department of Transportation originally said those repairs would take through the weekend. But that timetable has been extended, Hall said.

Drivers can expect the interstate to be closed between Old Mountain and Sharon School roads, exits 144 to 141.

Traffic on Iredell County side roads leading west was at a standstill Friday, and those conditions were not expected to improve. “It’s completely gridlocked,” Hall said.

Hall said troopers were working with schools in western Iredell County to help buses get around the traffic.

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