Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced that a pavement preservation project along Clingmans Dome Road begins this month during the seasonal winter closure. When the road opens to the public for the 2022 season on April 1, the paving work will continue with single-lane closures through Friday, September 2, 2022. The lane closures along the seven-mile roadway are necessary to safely and efficiently complete the project.
During the month of March, while the road is still closed to the public, workers will repair drainage systems, reset curbing, and complete other work that can be accomplished during cooler weather. Upon opening to the public on April 1, visitors traveling on Clingmans Dome Road should expect weekday, single-lane closures, and traffic delays. Lane closures will occur from 7:00 a.m. on Mondays through 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. The lane closures will be managed with flagging operations and a pilot car to lead traffic through work zones. No daytime lane closures will be allowed on Federal Holidays, during the week of Easter, or between June 15 through August 15.
Clingmans Dome Road is one of the most popular destinations in the park and receives more than 500,000 visitors annually. The roadway includes several scenic overlooks, high-elevation trailheads, and direct access to Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the park. Visitors can walk along the paved, 0.5-mile trail to the top of Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet and view the surrounding mountains from the historic Clingmans Dome Observation Tower.
The Federal Highway Administration awarded the more than $2.6 million construction contract to Bryant’s Land and Development Industries, Inc., from Burnsville, NC. The project work will consist of patching deteriorated sections of the roadbed, sealing cracks in the pavement, and applying a high-performance surface treatment. The pavement preservation work will extend the life of the existing pavement by approximately five to seven years.
Motorists are asked to reduce speeds and use extra caution when traveling through the work zone. For more information about road closures, please follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm.