CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Part of a route to North Carolina's ski country will remain closed through the weekend and into next week because of rock slide fears.
U.S. Highway 321 is closed between Lenoir and Blowing Rock because engineers are concerned about large boulders that are loose on the side of the road.
Department of Transportation officials say they hope to open the road by the middle of next week.
Crews will be out Friday blasting boulders. After the blast is conducted Friday morning, crews will spend the weekend hauling material off the site.
U.S. 321 is a main route between the Charlotte area and Appalachian State University, Blowing Rock and ski resorts in the northwest mountains.
The DOT says motorists should follow the posted detour route.
Traffic heading north from Lenoir towards Blowing Rock should follow N.C. 18 into Wilkes County until it intersects with U.S. 421 North. Take U.S. 421 North to Boone and turn left onto the N.C. 105 Extension. Then turn left onto U.S. 321 South to Blowing Rock.
To head south on U.S. 321 from Blowing Rock, follow the route back to Lenoir from Boone.