Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Collapse of Cowan Town Road likely caused by storms

By David Walter
Last week a portion of roadway collapsed on Cowan Town Road in Butler, TN. The section of road is roughly two miles from the Pioneer Landing Marina. The collapsed roadway has deteriorated the previously two-lane road into a one-way. What looks like a nearly complete structural collapse of the hillside has sent both whole trees and earth down a steep face and into Watauga Lake. What remains is a sheer drop-off quarantined by several traffic barrels and safety tape.
The visible damage to the road occurred last week, but the cause is most likely the result of the many storms and floods over the past several months. “This is a result of several storms,” said Tony Jennings, Johnson County Road Superintendent. Jennings explained the damage is recent but it is possible that water running under the road has been leading up to this for some time.
There is no finite or set date for the project to be completed. Although when it comes to safety, these sorts of projects have the highest sort priority for the road department. The road department planned to meet with members of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) on Monday. In collaboration with the NRCS, which is an extension of the United States Department of Agriculture, the county hopes to fix the damaged road at a cost of twenty percent to the county and eighty percent through NRCS funds.