Paving begins on park road
A paving project expected to last through the end of November is now underway on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s most-used thoroughfare, Newfound Gap Road.
The project involves the 8-mile section between the Chimneys Picnic Area and Newfound Gap. Though it is expected to wrap up by Nov. 30, delays are possible should inclement weather pose a problem.
Weekday, single-lane closures and traffic delays will be in effect from now until June 15 and again from Aug. 16 to Sept. 30. Lane closures are permitted from 7 a.m. Mondays through noon on Fridays and will be managed with flagging operations and a pilot car to lead traffic through the work zones. Some parking areas and pull-offs will be closed intermittently. However, no daytime closures will be allowed on weekends, holidays, the week before and after the Easter holiday, the summer season or the month of October.
The Federal Highway Administration awarded the $8.5 million contract to Bryant’s Land Development Industries Inc. of Burnsville. Roadwork will include application of a pavement preservation treatment along a 6-mile section of roadway and a full pavement rehabilitation for the remainder.
Current road conditions are available at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm or @SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.