February 15, 2019
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a pavement preservation project will begin Tuesday, February 19 on Little River Road. A thin pavement overlay will be applied to the entire length of the 16.5-mile roadway between Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Townsend Wye along with associated pull-offs and parking lots and the 1.5-mile Elkmont Road leading to the campground. The project should be completed by September 20, 2019, though work schedules are subject to revision as needed for inclement weather.
Visitors traveling on Little River Road should expect weekday, single-lane closures and traffic delays from February 19 through June 14 and again from August 19 through September 20. Single-lane closures are permitted from 7:00 a.m. on Mondays through 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. The lane closures will be managed with flagging operations. Parking areas and pull-offs will be closed intermittently for pavement application. To better accommodate visitors during periods of high visitation, no lane closures will be allowed during peak summer months, weekends, or holidays including the week before and after Easter from April 12 through April 26.
The Federal Highway Administration awarded the $ 6.5 million paving contract to GC Works, Inc. Road work will include the application of a thin lift overlay to preserve the life of the pavement. Potholes will be patched before application of the pavement overlay.
In addition to this work, the park is also overseeing tree removal work along various roadways in the park including Little River Road between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, Elkmont Road, Cherokee Orchard Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, and the Gatlinburg Bypass. Motorists should expect delays due to single-lane closures associated with this work through April.
For more information about temporary road closures, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.