Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Part of Newfound Gap Road will be closed indefinitely due to landslide

A landslide along Newfound Gap Road near mile marker 22 has caused an extended closure of the road. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) due to a landslide which undercut the road near mile marker 22 between Collins Creeks and Webb Overlook at 9:40 am. The slide is estimated to be a 200 foot section of road extending 1000 foot down slope, but the full extent of the damage is not yet known. The closure is expected to be in effect for an extended period of time.

The park is evaluating the remainder of the roadway, but anticipates Newfound Gap Road will be opened to visitors from the Gatlinburg Entrance in Tennessee to Newfound Gap Parking lot as soon as it is possible. The road will be open to Smokemont on the North Carolina side.

Park staff are working with the Department of Federal Highway’s Construction and Geotechnical Services to evaluate the slide damage and to begin planning for repairs. Additional details will be released as the condition assessments are analyzed.

As of midnight, Tuesday, January 15, the park received 8.56 inches of rain measured at Cherokee, 7.4 inches at Newfound Gap and 6.86 inches at LeConte. Rivers and streams have been running fast and high since Sunday when the rains began. More rain is expected for the area today and tomorrow.

There are currently multiple temporary road closures throughout the park due to high water, including:

• Cades Cove Loop Road due to flooding
• Upper Tremont Road due to flooding
• Forge Creek Road
• Cataloochee Entrance Road
• Old NC-284 between Big Creek and Cataloochee
• Toms Branch Road

For the most current road closure reports, please call 865-436-1200 x 631 or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.

Hiking in the Smokies


Hike Sedona said...

Sorry to hear about this. Hope they get it all fixed up soon.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

I really feel bad for the small business owbers on the NC side of the Smokies. This can't be good for their businesses. I assume it will be several months before this is fixed...

Anonymous said...

I so hope that they keep the road as natural as possible.I love this drive over the mountain.We were planning on driving up to see the snow but, we might not cause we don't like to drive I40..We love these mountains!

Anonymous said...

I am going up on Saturday and always take 441 north to Cherokee and Newfound Gap Rd. to Gatlinburg, can anyone tell me how I should now go from northeast Ga.?

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Anon - I would probably take 23/74 east (in Dillsboro) to I40, head west (north) on I40, take exit 451and head west on 32, and then west on 321/73 to G-burg.

Anonymous said...

TSMH - thanks for the information, I will look into that.

Anonymous said...

I'm coming up on the 21st and we always go 441 to Cherokee and across the mountain to Gatlinburg. Is this the road that is closed, from Cherokee to Gatlinburg (across the mountain) Im not sure if i need to find a new route because we have to be in Piegon Forge. Thanks for you help!!!!

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Anon (2?) - yes this is the same road - I would probably take 23/74 east (in Dillsboro) to I40, head west (north) on I40, take exit 451and head west on 32, and then west on 321/73 to G-burg.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much:-)