If you're planning to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway next month, you'll want to read this to see the schedule for temporary road closures due to routine maintenance.
Beginning Monday and continuing for a three- to four-week period, Parkway maintenance personnel will be conducting cutting operations along the roadside between Petites Gap (near U.S. 501) and the interchange of U.S. 460 and the Parkway. During the period, both lanes in this section of the Parkway will be closed to all activity (cars, bicycles, and hikers) to ensure the safety of the maintenance workers as well as Parkway visitors.
The planned work will not affect travel along U.S. Route 43 at the Peaks of Otter south to Bearwallow Gap.
Each year Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance and resource management staff conduct maintenance activities that help control vegetation growth along the Parkway. To help ensure safe sight distances and a clear right-of-way, this work requires using a large tractor with a cutting head on a long arm, or boom. This tractor must remain in the travel lanes during operation to properly perform its work while cutting the banks and road shoulders.
Affected sections will close at approximately 7:45 a.m. each weekday and re-open daily about 5 p.m. Those who normally commute on the Parkway may want find alternate routes.
Proposed closures are scheduled to occur on these dates:
* Monday, December 2 – Thursday, December 5, 2013 (between Mileposts 66 and 76)
* Monday, December 9 – Friday, December 13, 2013 (between Mileposts 76 and 85)
* Monday, December 16 – Friday, December 20, 2013 (between Mileposts 95 and 106)