Estimates to rebuild the severed Newfound Gap Road across Great Smoky Mountains National Park range from $3 million to $7 million, with construction expected to begin late next month or in March.
Already some $200,000 has been allocated for a contractor to stablize the area where roughly 200 feet of the road was swept away by a landslide earlier this month. That work will involve creating an access road to the slide area, removing debris, and stabilizing the slope above the work area, park officials said Tuesday.
The contracting piece for the second phase, involving the actual road reconstruction, was initiated last Friday when Federal Highways Administration posted a pre-solicitation for qualified contractors with interest in repairing the landslide. The contract for this phase of work is estimated to cost between $3,000,000 and $7,000,000, and is expected to be awarded by mid-February. Final construction work will begin soon after, the park said.
The schedule of the road reconstruction will be determined by the information received in the solicitation package, but is anticipated to be complete by mid-May to early June. Newfound Gap Road will remain closed to thru traffic during the construction, but visitors are still able to access the park to Newfound Gap from the Tennessee side and to Smokemont Campground from the Cherokee entrance.