Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
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?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...