Early morning rock slide keeps road crews busy

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Update:
Kentucky 1441 is back open between the U.S. 460 overpass and Kentucky 1789.

Lately, Eastern Kentucky has received a lot of rain.

As temperatures drop and increase, rocks and mud can fall into roads.

That same situation happened Wednesday morning on Kentucky 1441 in Pike County.

Road crews with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 12 are working around the clock to keep drivers safe.

"We work a crazy schedule," said Highway Superintendent Josh Blackburn.

Wednesday morning, Blackburn got a 5:00 A.M. wake up call.

"We are on call 365 days a year," Blackburn pointed out.

Officials with Transportation Cabinet District 12 say Kentucky 1441 is closed between the U.S. 460 overpass and Kentucky 1789.

"Our families travel these roads so we do our best to try to keep everyone safe," explained Blackburn.

Now, road crews are working all day to break up big boulders and haul them away.

"They are very time consuming and it takes a lot of equipment to actually move them," said Blackburn.

Blackburn told WYMT, this time of the year his crew stays extremely busy.

"It has completely saturated these mountains and of course whenever the temperatures get colder, water expands," explained Blackburn.

Officials say the freeze-thaw cycle is to blame for many of the recent slides, like the one in Pike County.

"Believe it or not, it (ice) will push a rock," said Blackburn.

Blackburn says he and his crew appreciate everyone's patience.

"I know sometimes, we do hinder your travels but in doing so, we're really trying to keep you safe," Blackburn pointed out.

Officials say to use Ky. 1789 as a detour.