Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Section of Blue Ridge Parkway Closed Due to Cracks in the Pavement

A 21-mile section of the historic 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is closed from Milepost 376 at Ox Creek Road, to Milepost 355 at Mt. Mitchell State Park. A detour route is available that directs traffic from Asheville, NC, along Interstate 40 to U.S. Route 221, back to the Parkway at Spruce Pine, NC, and alternately from Spruce Pine south to Asheville via U.S. Route 221 and Interstate 40.

The closure is the result of significant structural damage to a section of the motor road and related shoulder areas at Milepost 374.5 caused by recent, prolonged heavy rains. Federal Highway Administration engineers have been called in to assist park managers in determining the extent of the damage and will make recommendations for necessary repairs. The Parkway will release additional information once a construction and repair schedule is established. The public is encouraged to use the park's website to access road information to plan their visit.

To ensure public safety, the affected area of Parkway is closed to all motorized traffic until further notice. Currently pedestrians and bicyclists are allowed use of the closed area; however, once construction begins, or if conditions change, the area will be closed to all visitor access. Mt. Mitchell State Park will remain open, which is accessible from the northern approach along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Milepost 330, at Spruce Pine, NC, or from state Route 80. The Craggy Gardens Visitor Center and Picnic Area, at Milepost 364, will remain closed for the duration of the repair project.

Parkway management has apologized for any inconvenience to visitors and local communities impacted by the closure.


Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

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