The Cades Cove 11 mile Loop Road that circles the valley floor of Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains national park sees more than a million drivers a year who get to enjoy beautiful vistas, numerous wildlife and historic buildings with peak traffic occurring in the months of September, October and November.
The 11 mile Cades Cove Loop Road is a single lane paved road which only allows 1 way traffic, but has 2 gravel roads bisecting the loop: Sparks Lane and Hyatt Lane one of which Spark Lane which will be closed on September 2nd and if all goes well reopened on October 8th. During the time the road is closed to construction, hikers and bikers are prohibited from entering the road.
The road is being closed to allowed replacement of existing concrete enclosed steel culverts to larger capacity concrete box culverts to carry the flow of both Rowans Branch and Cooper Branch underneath Sparks Lane.
The larger capacity culverts being installed in Spark Lanes will reduce washouts from large rainstorms and runoffs as well as allowing fish in both the Cooper Branch and Rowans Branch to more easily move up and down the creeks.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given a $50,000 grant toward the $194,400 project since this construction project in the Great Smoky Mountains national park will benefit the habit of the fish located in Cades Cove.
Sparks Lane commonly sees only a few dozen cars an hour during peak times using to road to either cut their trip around the Cades Cove Loop shorter or to double back to do the back end of the Cades Cove Loop again.