TDOT Says Lookout Boulder That Came Loose From Bluff Has Not Increased Likelihood Of More Falling

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Tennessee Department of Transportation geotechnical specialist says he does not believe that the recent fall of a boulder from a Lookout Mountain bluff has increased the chances that more will come down from near the same location.

However, Mike Perkins of the TDOT Geotechnical Engineering Section said even large boulders have tumbled down the mountain before and will likely do in the future from various areas of the bluff.

The boulder he examined came down on Dec. 31 and lodged on the Hardy Trail just above Scenic Highway.

Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "Mr. Perkins’ visual observation of the site indicated that a mass of sandstone was released from the base of the bluff above the trail. Several blocks of sandstone, including an approximately 12’ by 12’ by 10’ block, reached the elevation of the walking trail.

"This large block appears to be embedded approximately three feet into the trail surface. According to Mr. Perkins, there is currently no potential for this block to continue downslope into the existing roadway.

"Visual observation of the bluff from the walking trail revealed numerous overhangs and blocks of material with the potential to move material downslope. Observation along the existing roadway to the base of the mountain revealed numerous instances in the past where material released from the bluff has reached or passed the existing roadway, with many of the block sizes being significantly larger than the block located on the walking trail.

"It is the opinion of the Geotechnical Engineering Section that this rockfall event has not increased the overall risk of rockfall currently associated with this area, nor has it altered the consequences of such an event.

"Basically, to sum up Mr. Perkins’ findings, there is no immediate threat to the roadway, and rockfalls like this have happened in the past and may happen again.

"Our regional staff will discuss the situation further with Mr. Perkins, the National Park Service and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy to explore any future options regarding the large boulder and the area in general."


Case Of Bathtub Strangling Goes To Grand Jury

The case against JaMichael Harris, charged with criminal homicide, was bound over to a grand jury after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning. Harris, 20, is charged with the death of Inez Burney. Police said Ms. Burney was strangled in her bathtub and had bruises on her neck. Harris also had scratches on his face, consistent with the woman defending herself ... (click for more)

Nissan Altima Crashes Into Cleveland Habitat For Humanity ReStore

A white 1999 Nissan Altima crashed into the Habitat for Humanity's ReStore at 4605 North Lee Highway in Cleveland on Tuesday. The incident happened at 2:30 p.m. The driver, identified as Betty Rutledge, 77, and the passenger, Francis Swafford, 79, were both transported to SkyRidge Medical Center with minor injuries. No other individuals were injured in the crash. Property ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion. Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta ... (click for more)