Pavement Preservation

A construction vehicle spreads fine gravel on a treated road surface
The Blue Ridge Parkway manages 554 miles of paved road, including the iconic 469-mile long mainline motor road. All pavement deteriorates over time. Pavement on the parkway should last approximately 20 years. But as of 2017, the parkway had 235.3 miles of pavement that was older than this, including 194.8 miles that was 30 years or older.

Funding for road systems in national parks comes from national gas tax dollars through the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP). The Parkway receives approximately $7 to $10 million per year for paving, bridge, and tunnel repair projects. However, the parkway has $462 million in deferred maintenance costs. Approximately 90% of these costs are due to maintenance needed on paved roads in the park.

To stretch our funding further, national parks throughout the country, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, have identified road sections eligible for a preventative maintenance known as pavement preservation.

Pavement preservation applies a new surface to road sections that are in good condition. This helps slow deterioration and allows road maintenance budgets to go further.
In 2017, more than seventy miles of the parkway in Virginia were treated with a chip and fog seal treatment as part of the pavement preservation program. This year, approximately 65 miles in North Carolina are scheduled for chip and fog seal treatments from May-September of 2018:
  • Milepost 359.1 to 365.6, north of Asheville in the Mt. Mitchell & Craggy Gardens area
  • Milepost 393.6 to 412.8, south of Asheville through the Mount Pisgah area
  • Milepost 424.0 to 469.0, south of Devil’s Courthouse to the southern end of the parkway

Other sections that are not suitable for pavement preservation will be prioritized and targeted for full repaving as funds allow.

What to Expect

  • Contractors will be working in 3-5 mile sections.
  • The parkway’s Real Time Road Map will be updated at least weekly with current location information about rolling work zones.
  • Work zones will be managed using one-lane traffic control with flaggers and a pilot vehicle.
  • Speed limits in work zones will be reduced. These reduced speed limits will remain in effect on weekends and holidays to allow for proper curing of the pavement.
  • Anticipate loose gravel on the road surface during the cure time..
  • Bicyclists and motorcyclists are asked to exercise extreme caution in project areas as loose gravel on top of the paved surface could result in loss of control.
  • Work in active work zones will occur from sunrise to sunset Monday-Friday. Vacuum work may take place before 10:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Work is not permitted on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day holidays.
  • The Federal Highway Administration awarded this paving contract to Estes Brothers, Inc. The cost for the project is $4 million.

Last updated: May 14, 2018

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199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville , NC 28803


828 348-3400

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