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Archive for Newfound Gap Road

Next Phase of Work on Newfound Gap Road Begins in April

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a project to repave 4.3 miles of Newfound Gap Road will begin on April 13. This work is part of a multi-phased rehabilitation project started in 2007. The section to be resurfaced extends from Sugarlands Visitor Center south to Chimney’s Picnic Area where the last phase ended.

This section of road was last repaved in the 1980s and is badly deteriorated. In addition to the repaving, several drainage culverts will be replaced and two retaining walls will be constructed near the Carlos Campbell Overlook. The contractor will temporarily shift the road to the west by 2 to 3 feet to accommodate a drill rig used for setting the structural parts of the retaining wall near the pullout just north of the main Carlos Campbell Overlook. This lower pullout will be closed for approximately two months while the retaining wall is being constructed, but the main, upper overlook will remain open.

The work will be performed under a $ 14.4 million contract with Estes Brothers Construction of Jonesville, VA and will be administered by the Federal Highway Administration’s Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division. Funding is provided to the NPS through the Federal Lands Transportation Program to support this work.

Motorists should expect delays due to lane closures through June 15. There will not be any daytime lane closures from June 15 through August 15, but nighttime lane closures may occur throughout the project. After August 15, daytime lane closures will again be allowed through September 30. No work of any kind will be permitted on federal holidays or during the month of October. Daytime lane closures will resume from November 1 through December 17.

Newfound Gap Road Reopens

From left to right: Chief Hicks, Park Superintendent Ditmanson, and Congressman Meadows

From left to right: Chief Hicks, Park Superintendent Ditmanson, and Congressman Meadows

Today, park officials and local politicians, held a press conference to announce the reopening of US 441/Newfound Gap Road, the main thoroughfare that runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and connects Eastern Tennessee to Western North Carolina. On January 16, 2013, a major landslide due to heavy rainfall, destroyed a large section of the road leaving it closed for months. Local contractors Phillips & Jordan were awarded a $3.9 million contract to begin the rebuilding process on February 20, 2013. In that contract, officials agreed to a daily incentive of an additional $18,000 dollars, up to $500,000, for early completion before the May 15 deadline. With today’s reopening announced, Phillips & Jordan completed the project 30 days early and will be awarded the full $500,000 as agreed. Local politicians Congressman Mike Meadows, and Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian were at the press conference to add their words of praise to Phillips & Jordan’s efforts. When asked about the $250,000 of the $500,000 early completion award that the tribe contributed, Chief Hicks said, “It was money well spent.”

The newly constructed stretch of Newfound Gap Road

The newly constructed stretch of Newfound Gap Road