Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Roadwork on the Gatlinburg Bypass

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced upcoming roadwork plans on the Gatlinburg Bypass involving overnight closures and single lane daytime closures beginning in mid-August.

Charles Blalock and Sons was awarded the contract to mill and resurface the Gatlinburg Bypass roadway and parking areas beginning August 19, 2013 through September 27, 2013. The Bypass will be closed to all traffic nightly from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Sunday night through Friday morning. Motorists should also expect daytime single lane closures Monday through Thursday. No work will occur during October, weekends, or holiday periods.

From November 2013 through May 2014, motorists should expect daytime single lane closures while crews complete additional improvements along the bypass including reconditioning roadway shoulders and the replacement of damaged guardrails and bridge expansion joints.

The Gatlinburg Bypass is a well-traveled road which received an interim surface treatment in 2011 that temporarily extended the life of the pavement surface. The upcoming full resurfacing treatment is expected to last 15-20 years.

“The Gatlinburg Bypass offers a unique experience for Park visitors who enjoy the scenic views of Mt. LeConte from overlooks and it also serves a need for our neighboring communities by relieving heavy traffic,” said Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “We realize this work will cause traffic delays and we make every effort to minimize these impacts to our visitors and park neighbors by restricting closures during our busiest times.”

Park officials also remind motorists about the ongoing rehabilitation work Newfound Gap Road. Beginning on August 15, motorists should expect daytime single lane closures through Spring 2014 on 6.1 miles of the roadway from Chimney’s Picnic Area south towards Newfound Gap. No work of any kind will be permitted on federal holidays or during the month of October. Park officials expect the next and final phase of this multi-year project from Chimney’s Picnic Area to the park boundary at Gatlinburg to begin in November 2014 and be completed by November 2016.

For more information about road closures, please call the Park’s Road and Weather Information Line at 865-436-1200.

Hiking in the Smokies

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