The $64,006,150 that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will receive through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be a great help to the infrastructure of the park and is expected to create as many as 1,500 jobs mostly in the private sector as employees of a variety of contractors who will be hired to fix up the park.
So where is all this money going that must be either spent or obligated by September 30, 2010? Well the majority of this federal stimulus money about $59 million dollars is going to be used on park roadways and the balance will be spent on trail maintenance, building and facility improvements.
$34 million is to be spent to finish the 1,200 foot incomplete section known as the missing link of the Foothills Parkway west which will include an 800 foot-long bridge - the longest single structure to be constructed from Wears Valley Road US321 to Walland.
The next approximately $25 million will be spent to repave and rehabilitate 4 roads in the park:
- 9 miles of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Cherokee Orchard Road near Gatlinburg.
- All 7 miles of Clingmans Dome Road from Newfound Gap Road US 441 to the Clingmans Dome parking area.
- The Cosby Campgrounds in Cocke County Tennessee
- The Sinks parking area on Little River Road between Wears Cove Road in Metcalf Bottoms picnic area and the Townsend Wye in Tennessee.
$4 million of the stimulus money given to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be spent on long overdue handicapped accessibility public restrooms in campgrounds and picnic areas.
$1.2 million will be used in the Great Smoky Mountains national park to hire trail workers to make improvements to:
- 22 miles of eroded horse trails in Tennessee
- 10.4 miles of trails in North Carolina
- 61 historic cemeteries in North Carolina
Lastly $259,000 will be spent to paint and reroof numerous buildings throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National park.