A flagging operation will remain in place until the project is complete on the main access road to the Cataloochee area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. National Park Service officials anticipate opening the popular area this week.
Crews from S.W. Ledford from Hayesville restored the original width of the road about five miles from Jonathan Creek Road. At a cost of $1 million, crews built a new retaining wall on the slope above the road that will help prevent future slides and unexpected closures.
In 2013, a slide removed a portion of the road and hillside below the road. NCDOT crews made short-term repairs that kept the road passable for more than six years. Now, these improvements should stabilize this hillside for decades.
Cataloochee and GSMNP information is available here.