Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Federal Highways Administration staff assessed the mudslide on the Spur this morning and began clearing operations. The mudslide contains an estimated 500 cubic yards of material in a pile approximately 100 feet in length and 70 feet high covering both lanes of the northbound Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Staff estimate that the removal will require at least 45 dump truck loads of material to be hauled from the site. Currently, operators are using two excavators and seven dump trucks to clear the area. Weather depending, the removal is expected to be complete by this evening.
The slide is located just past Westgate Resorts Road along the northbound lanes of the Spur. Northbound traffic is detoured for approximately one mile at Westgate Resorts Road to Little Smoky Road before reentering the Spur from Beech Branch Road just before the tunnel. Large trucks and over-sized vehicles are being detoured east of Gatlinburg to Highway 321 to use alternate routes such as Highway 416.
National Park Service rangers have received assistance with traffic management by the Gatlinburg Police Department, Pigeon Forge Police Department, and Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.
For more information about temporary road closures, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.
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