Motorists do not have to drive far on Tennessee roadways before passing a section of the road that has been cut out of solid rock.
"Obviously, it is called the ‘Rocky Top' state for a reason. There is a lot of rock here," said TDOT spokeswoman, Deanna Lambert. "Rocks are certainly unpredictable, some can fall and some never fall."
Lambert told Nashville's News 2 the department takes several measures to try to ensure drivers are not injured from pieces of falling rock near roads.
"The state collects what we call a rock fall hazard data base," she explained. "It is an inventory of anywhere that we go and build a road in Middle Tennessee and we have to cut through rock."
According to Lambert, TDOT makes note of the condition of the rock and when it was cut, as well as placing fencing in places that have a high probability of falling rock.
"We also have some fencing in Smithville and also in Cookeville just east of Monterey on I-40 as you are going up the mountain," said Lambert.
Lambert said where possible, TDOT cuts the rock walls as far as possible from the edge of the road to create wide shoulders so any falling rock will not land on the road surface.