Archived Outdoors

Work planned for Clingmans Dome Road

The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. NPS photo The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. NPS photo

When Clingmans Dome Road reopens for the season on April 1, it will do so with the caveat of single-lane closures, to be in effect intermittently through Sept. 2. 

The lane closures along the 7-mile roadway are needed to conduct a pavement preservation project that is expected to extend the life of the existing pavement by five to seven years. 

This month, while the road is still closed to the public, workers will repair drainage systems, reset curbing and complete other work that can be accomplished during cooler weather. After April 1, lane closures will occur from 7 a.m. Mondays through noon Fridays, managed with flagging operations and a pilot car to lead traffic through work zones. No daytime closures will be allowed on federal holidays, during the week of Easter, or between July 15 and Aug. 15.

One of the park’s most popular destinations, Clingmans Dome Road receives more than 500,000 visitors annually. The roadway features several scenic overlooks, high-elevation trailheads and direct access to Clingmans Dome, at 6,643 feet the highest peak in the park. 

The Federal Highway Administration awarded the more than $2.6 million construction contract to Bryant’s Land and Development Industries, Inc., from Burnsville. The project work will consist of patching deteriorated sections of the roadbed, sealing cracks in the pavement, and applying a high-performance surface treatment. Drivers should drive slowly and carefully while traveling through the work zone. 

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