If you're planning on exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer or through the fall, here's a heads' up on road projects that you might want to avoid if possible.
The following list covers roadwork scheduled from May through year's end in some cases.
Good news: The current road closure on the Parkway, at Milepost 217 to 237, is scheduled to open to two-lane traffic on May 16.
New road repair projects scheduled for the 2012 summer season are listed below.
Parkway Milepost 0 (US 64/250) to Milepost 15.4 (Love Gap) in Nelson and Augusta Counties, Virginia:
Parkway pavement reconstruction is planned to begin on May 1 and will continue through December 31, 2012. The project will be completed under one-lane traffic control by flagmen or traffic light in several locations. No work is expected during weekends, national holidays, or during the month of October. The parking areas at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center, and trailhead parking for the Humpback Rocks Trail at Milepost 6, will be reduced during construction. Visitors can expect continued and full use of all other hiking trails though this section of Parkway during construction.
Parkway Milepost 286, replacement of defective railing and repairs to the concrete deck, on Goshen Creek Bridge in Watauga County, North Carolina:
This project is expected to begin in May, and will continue until September 30, 2012. The work will be completed under one-lane traffic control by traffic light and shall be limited to the length of the bridge. No work is expected during weekends and national holidays.
Parkway Milepost 304 (Linn Cove Viaduct) to 317.5 (at US 221), in Avery and Burke Counties, North Carolina:
Parkway pavement reconstruction is expected to continue until the end of August 2012. The project will be completed under one-lane traffic control by flagmen in several locations. No work is expected during weekends and national holidays. Construction activities will not affect the operating schedule of the Linn Cove or Linville Falls Visitor Centers. Visitors can expect continued and full use of hiking trails though this section of Parkway.
Bridge deck sealing and roadway abutment paving on select bridge structures throughout the Parkway: Two contracts have been awarded to conduct preventative maintenance on Park bridges. These projects are planned to begin on April 23, 2012 and will continue through August 2012. Work will be conducted under one-lane traffic control. No work is expected during weekends and national holidays.
Parkway Milepost 358 to 359, just north of Craggy Gardens and south of Mount Mitchell State Park, in Buncombe County, North Carolina:
A project to stabilize a slope failure at Milepost 358.8 is expected to begin in July. Pavement has been slowly settling in this area as a result of a failed retaining wall at the base of a fill slope. For the 2012 summer season there will be no restriction to access at Mt. Mitchell State Park or Craggy Gardens Picnic Area. The work will be completed under one-lane traffic control by automatic traffic light from July through October 31, 2012.
Weekend work may be authorized for this project as a means to expedite completion. Work on national holidays is not anticipated. Between November 1, 2012 and Summer 2013, this section of Parkway must be closed to traffic to complete the project. A detour will be implemented and a detailed detour plan will be developed and distributed prior to the November 1, 2012, closure.