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Originally published: 2013-07-23 14:45:14
Last modified: 2013-07-23 14:45:14

Courthouse renovations on hold due to mudslide

Caroline Harris / (

The third renovation of the Avery County Courthouse in its 113 years has been put on hold due to a massive mudslide on Highway 194. On Tuesday, July 16, persistent rainfall caused all three lanes to buckle, leaving a gaping crater in the road and causing a mudslide in the valley below.
Construction on the courthouse began on July 8. Building materials were coming in from Tennessee on Highway 194. With the road cut off, county manager Robert Wiseman said that the estimated13 month construction time will be extended.
Wiseman went on to explain that the road outage will also severely impact the delivery of critical public services, including emergency medical services, the fire department and solid waste management.
“Instead of minutes, you’re talking about triple, quadruple the time,” Wiseman said, and pointed out that while that may not seem like much, every second counts in some emergency situations.
Right now, Montezuma continues to be blocked off due to the construction, and the front entrance to the building is closed. Courthouse patrons are advised to enter by the side entrance on the right side of the building.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to