Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced on Thursday, Oct. 29 that the Federal Highway Administration awarded two construction contracts to replace seven bridges and repair seven others across the Park. The work will continue through Jan. 19, 2022 and necessitates several single-lane closures and a few full road closures to safely accomplish the repairs.
Forge Creek Road in the Cades Cove area will be closed to all use beginning Nov. 2 through May 27, 2021 to replace five bridges. Due to the complete removal of the bridges and the use of large equipment to perform repair work, the road will be closed to all users. There will be no access to Henry Whitehead Place or the Gregory Bald Trailhead during this time period.
Bridges in the following areas will be repaired throughout the contract period and visitors should expect single-lane closures in these areas: two bridges along the Gatlinburg Bypass; two bridges along Little River Road; two bridges in the Elkmont area, and one bridge in the Park Headquarters area. This winter, the park will announce dates for a month-long full closure of the road leading to Ramsey Cascades Trailhead and the road leading to Smoky Mountain Stables to fully replace bridges in those areas when the schedule is finalized.
Adams Contracting LLC of Lexington, Ky. was awarded a $3.5 million contract to replace the five bridges along Forge Creek Road. Work includes the replacement of timber decks, installation of steel beams, and building of new abutment walls and concrete approach slabs. Estes Brothers of Jonesville, Va. was awarded a $1 million contract to replace two bridges and repair seven bridges in the other areas in the park. Repair work includes replacing damaged rails, repointing masonry, sealing cracks, and repairing deck joints.
For more information about road closures, please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm.
– National Park Service release