The Great Smoky Mountains national park is about to start repaving a stretch of just under 7 miles of the GSMNP Newfound Gap road from the Cherokee North Carolina entrance area north to the Collins Creek Picnic Area.
This 18 month long project will start March 16th and it will cause periodic lane closures until it has been completed some time in September of 2010. If the last repaving work performed on Newfound Gap Road is any indication of how this project will go, serious traffic interruptions especially during peak visitation will not be a problem. Park directives to the contractor APAC Atlantic Inc dictate that single lane closures can not cause more than a 10 minute delay any single work site.
While Newfound Gap Road is not nearly in as bad a shape as the soon to be repaved Cades Cove Loop Road, this section of US 441 has not been repaved since 1983. The extensive work will include removal of the old pavement and widening and realignment of the road at the entrance to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center which will also undergo construction as the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center will be built.
- March 16 2009 - June 15 2009 during the week lane-closures can take place around the clock but will not be allowed between 8 am - 10 pm on weekends*, holidays, or during April 10 through April 19 (Easter Week).
*Weekends are defined as noon on Friday through 8 am on Monday
- June 15, 2009 - August 15, 2009 Between 8 am to 9 pm no closures will be permitted
- August 16, 2009 - June 15, 2010** Daytime lane closures allowed (except on weekends and holidays).
** No work of any kind will be permitted during October 2009, Thanksgiving 2009 and the following day, or from December 23 2009 through January 2 2010.