Beginning Monday morning, December 2, 2013,and continuing for a three to four week period, Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance personnel will be conducting cutting operations along the roadside between Petites Gap (near U.S. 501) and the interchange of U.S. 460 and the Parkway. During the period, both lanes in this section of the Parkway will be closed to all activity (cars, bicycles, and hikers) to ensure the safety of the maintenance workers as well as Parkway visitors. The planned work will not affect travel along U.S. Route 43 at the Peaks of Otter south to Bearwallow Gap.
Annually, Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance and resource management staff conducts maintenance activities that help control vegetation growth along the Parkway. To help insure safe sight distances and a clear right-of-way, this work requires using a large tractor with a cutting head on a long arm, or boom. This tractor must remain in the travel lanes during operation to properly perform its work while cutting the banks and road shoulders.
Affected sections will close at approximately 7:45 a.m. each weekday and re-open daily about 5:00 p.m. Those who normally commute on the Parkway may want find alternate routes.Proposed closures are scheduled to occur on these dates:
· Monday, December 2 – Thursday, December 5, 2013 (between Mileposts 66 and 76)
· Monday, December 9 – Friday, December 13, 2013 (between Mileposts 76 and 85)
· Monday, December 16 – Friday, December 20, 2013 (between Mileposts 95 and 106)
Hiking in the Smokies