Maintenance work to cut back vegetation along a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway later this month will close about 21 miles of the scenic road during the day for two weeks.
The work is scheduled to begin the morning of February 18. Parkway crews will be cutting back vegetation along the roadside between Bearwallow Gap (at Virginia State Route 43 ) 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, park officials say.
The planned work will not affect travel along Route 43 at the Peaks of Otter south to Bearwallow Gap.
Annually, Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance and resource management staff conducts maintenance activities that help control invasive 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 fall between Mileposts 95 and 106. Closures will be instituted from 7:45 a.m. through 5 p.m. on weekdays. Those who normally commute on the Parkway on Monday through Friday may want to find alternate routes. The affected area will be available on Saturday and Sunday, February 22 – 23, 2014.