Smokies Awards $24.7 Million Contract for Next Phase of Foothills Parkway
Contact: Bob Miller, (865) 436-1207
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced that the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division has awarded a contract to Bell & Associates Highway Construction of Brentwood, TN to design and construct the next section of the uncompleted Foothills Parkway. The contract was awarded for $24.7 million, with the funding being provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to design and construct the 800 foot-long bridge # 2 on the eastern end of the unfinished Wears Valley to Walland segment of the Foothills Parkway known as the "missing link".
"Many people are familiar with the iconic Linn Cove Viaduct that carries the Blue Ridge Parkway around Grandfather Mountain." said Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent, Dale A. Ditmanson. "This new bridge is very nearly as long as that structure and likely to become just as note-worthy."
The park and the Federal Highway Administration are also working to finalize a contract to continue construction on the western, or Walland, end of the "missing link" working eastward from bridge 8 towards Wears Valley. They expect that work to begin in the fall of 2010.
Did You Know?
What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.