GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway in northwest North Carolina may be in for a detour. A $98 million, three-year repaving and rehabilitation project are now underway along one of America’s most iconic parkways.
Park visitors should expect “short-distance and short-duration delays,” the National Park Service warned in a press release. Within those areas, all activity is prohibited for cars, bicycles and hikers.
This paving project is expected to be ongoing through September 2025. Here’s what to expect.
Blue Ridge Parkway Closures and Detours
- Beginning May 1: Lane closures from mileposts 229.6 to 276.2 (Mahogany Rock, North Carolina to near Bamboo Gap)
- Beginning May 15: Full closures with detours in place between mileposts 229.6 and 238.5 (Mahogany Rock area) and also between mileposts 261.2 and 276.4 (Alligator Back Overlook to near Bamboo Gap)
Access to Doughton Park attractions, including the Bluffs Restaurant (when open for the season on May 26), will be available via NC 18 and a 7-mile drive north on the Parkway.
Access to the Northwest Trading Post at milepost 258.7 will be available from NC 16 and Trading Post Road at Glendale Springs, N.C.
Funding for the project comes from the Great American Outdoors Act, part of the effort to address the “extensive” maintenance backlog in national parks.
“This Great American Outdoors Act investment in critical park infrastructure allows the Parkway to continue serving the region as a driver of tourism for local economies for years to come,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Tracy Swartout. “While the project is underway, I encourage park visitors to plan ahead and consult the park’s website to understand detour routes and ensure ready access to their favorite sites on and off the Parkway.”
As construction progresses, closure locations will alternate and announcements will precede each shift. However, the park service said the contractor is expected to maintain uninterrupted access from either the north or the south to visitor facilities and recreation areas within the project area.
Other projects underway
Multiple road projects are underway this tourism season.
A separate pavement treatment project is underway targeting overlooks, parking areas and picnic areas across the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The work is being done between mileposts 294 to 384 (between Blowing Rock and Asheville) and mileposts 394-443 (south of Asheville to Balsam Gap) is planned for the 2023 visitor season.
Up-to-date closure and detour maps will be available on the park’s website and in visitor centers along the route, the park service said.
The parkway website and road status page can be helpful planning tools that provide daily road status information with links to project information or current detour maps.