After several weather and contract related delays, work has begun on a section of Blue Ridge Parkway closed from Milepost 376 at Ox Creek Road to Milepost 355, near the entrance to Mt. Mitchell State Park. This project will stabilize a failed slope just north of Tanbark Ridge Tunnel, at Milepost 374.
While alternate routes are available, the detour route marked with road signs directs traffic from Asheville, NC, along Interstate 40 to U.S. Route 221, back to the Parkway at Spruce Pine, NC, and alternately from Spruce Pine south to Asheville via U.S. Route 221 and Interstate 40. Mt. Mitchell State Park will remain open and accessible from the northern approach along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 330, near Spruce Pine, NC, or from state Route 80.
Due to the dangerous nature of this slope stabilization project, complete closure of the Parkway to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists is necessary. Contractors doing the work plan to be on site 24-hours a day, utilizing night lighting when possible. Parkway managers ask for the public’s cooperation with this closure, asking motorists to stay alert, be aware of barrier signs, and follow the signed detour to insure optimal visitor safety.
Despite the delayed start date, it is still anticipated that this project will be nearing completion in late spring of 2014, with the Parkway again open to traffic in this area during the 2014 summer visitor season. Parkway management regrets any inconvenience this project may have on local businesses or to visitors.