Archived Outdoors

Smokies to reconstruct Lakeview Drive

Lakeview Drive overlooks the Tuckasegee River as it swells toward Fontana Lake. NPS photo Lakeview Drive overlooks the Tuckasegee River as it swells toward Fontana Lake. NPS photo

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using nearly $19 million in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to reconstruct Lakeview Drive in Bryson City and repair Heintooga Ridge Road on the Haywood/Swain county line this summer.  

The work may cause temporary delays traveling Heintooga Ridge Road and will involve a full closure of Lakeview Drive later this summer. Construction dates will be announced over the coming weeks. During the closure, Noland Creek Trail, Lakeshore Trail, Goldmine Loop Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail and Lakeview Drive Tunnel will not be accessible from Lakeview Drive. Anyone planning a Decoration Day will still be able to access cemeteries in the area.

The Lakeview Drive project is by far the costlier of the two projects, commanding $15.7 million of the $18.7 million contract awarded to Bryant’s Land and Development Industries of Burnsville. Work will include complete reconstruction of the 6.5-mile road, replacement of all guardrails, construction of ADA-accessible parking spaces, new road signs, drainage repair and other miscellaneous work.

The Heintooga Ridge Road repairs round out the contract’s remaining $3 million. Work will include roadway patching, crack sealing and an asphalt pavement preservation overlay, and is expected to be complete by September 30.

The  Great American Outdoors Act , supported by revenue from energy development, provides funding to make enhancements in national parks and other public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other construction funding sources are part of a concerted effort to address the extensive maintenance backlog in national parks. 

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