The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Monday, 13 November 2023 16:59

Construction continues on Lakeview Drive in GSMNP

Road tunnel people

Road will reopen with single-lane closures on Nov. 16 at 12 p.m. 

GATLINBURG— Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to rehabilitate Lakeview Drive in North Carolina through Great American Outdoor Act fundingThe NPS will open Lakeview Drive to vehicles on Nov. 16 at 12 p.m., but visitors shouldplan for temporary single-lane closures andperiodic closures of some parking areas as construction is completed

Construction crews will continue to rehabilitate parking areas, guardrails, headwalls and more over the next few weeks. Crews will complete the road rehabilitation in the spring when they place the final layer of asphalt that will provide for a smoother ride. 

Hikers and visitors will be able to access the Noland Creek Trail, Lakeshore Trail, Goldmine Loop Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, or Lakeview Drive Tunnel from the road, but may not be able to park at the closest parking lot to the trailheadVisitors should expect to see machinery and equipment in the area until the project is complete.

The Road to Nowhere led to a road to somewhere special

The NPS is using nearly $19 million in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to reconstruct Lakeview Drive and repair Heintooga Ridge Road.The Great American Outdoors Act, supported by revenue from energy development, provides funding to make significant enhancements in national parks and other public lands to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment for current and future visitors. The Great American Outdoors Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other construction funding sources are part of a concerted effort to address the extensive maintenance backlog in national parks. 

For more information about temporary road and trail closures at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please visit the park’s Current Road, Facility, Trail & Backcountry Updates.