Virtual Blue Ridge is reporting that the Blue Ridge Parkway plans to install a traffic light to direct one-way traffic at mile marker 358 between Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell State Park. The traffic light will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from September 24 until November 1, 2012.
After November 1st, 6.5 miles of the Parkway will be closed to traffic. The resulting detour will direct traffic from Asheville along U.S. Route 40 to U.S. Route 221 and State Route 226. Buses and recreational vehicles will be encouraged to travel on U.S. Route 221 to the Parkway.
This section of Parkway will be closed to all visitors until April 2013 to ensure public safety. Closure gates will be installed at mile marker 355.3, just south of N.C. Route 128 to Mt. Mitchell State Park, and at mile marker 359.8, just north of the Balsam Gap Parking Area. Mt. Mitchell State Park will remain open and accessible from the northern approach along the Blue Ridge Parkway via State Route 80.
Parkway management apologizes for any inconvenience to our visitors and cautions the public to be aware of the installation of traffic lights and closure gates as the project proceeds to completion of this very important public safety project.