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NEWPORT, TN (AP) — Tennessee transportation officials say westbound Interstate 40 traffic near the North Carolina state line will remain constricted to one lane for at least another month.

One westbound lane was reopened early Sunday after a contractor removed a boulder estimated to weight about 1,500 tons. The huge rock was perched precariously above the highway after mud and rocks slid onto the westbound emergency stopping lane Jan. 31.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said in a news release Monday the initial cleanup is done. The second phase will likely begin in late March and involves stabilizing the slope to prevent additional rockslides there.

TDOT spokeswoman B.J. Doughty said the department hopes to keep one westbound lane open during the more extensive work to come.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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