Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway to Build Temporary Bypass Route Around Cracked Pavement at MP 374.5

Blue Ridge Parkway managers and Federal Highway Administration engineers have made the decision to construct a temporary bypass route that will allow traffic through a heavily-used section of Parkway near Milepost 374. The area is currently closed as the result of significant structural damage to the motor road and related shoulder areas discovered earlier this summer.

Construction of the temporary bypass route, in conjunction with the removal of unstable slope material, should be complete by the end of August allowing traffic to move through the area as soon as Labor Day. Once the bypass route is in place, it is anticipated the current detour (from Milepost 375 to Milepost 355) will be lifted and two-way traffic will resume through the area during the months of September and October. In November of 2013, the bypass route will close and the detour will be reinstated so that construction can resume to stabilize the slope and repair the area permanently.

Until the temporary by-pass route is complete, the Parkway will remain closed to all visitors between Milepost 375 and Milepost 355. Mt. Mitchell State Park will remain open and accessible from the northern approach along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Milepost 330, at Spruce Pine, NC, or from state Route 80. Buses and large Recreational Vehicles are encouraged to use I-40 and U.S. 221 to the Parkway. As always, the public is encouraged to use the park's website, nps.gov/blri, to access road information and plan their visit.

Hiking in the Smokies

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