Re-construction to Begin March 1 on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) through the Smokies Motorists travelling across Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) can expect to experience delays beginning March 1, 2011 when work begins to rehabilitate 2.4 miles of the road from the North Carolina state line at Newfound Gap northward into Tennessee. The work will be performed by Estes Brothers Construction, Inc. of Jonesville, Va. under a $7.8 million contract with the Federal Highway Administration. In addition to repaving that segment of the road, the contractor will be repairing thousands of feet of stone masonry retaining walls and several drainage culverts. At two locations the retaining walls will require extensive re-construction to support the roadbed, necessitating the closure of one lane between March 1 and June 10, 2011. At the upper retaining wall worksite, just above the Morton Overlook, flaggers will be used to control traffic around the lane closure during daytime hours, from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., but two-lane traffic will be restored overnight. At the lower site, traffic signals will be installed to control alternating north-bound and south-bound traffic around the clock, seven days a week. From June 11 until August 15 daytime lane closures will not be permitted, but will be allowed overnight from 9:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said, "We try very hard to minimize impacts on Park visitors due to road construction. We applied this same lane closure schedule when we rebuilt the North Carolina end of Newfound Gap Road from the state line to Cherokee, NC between 2006 and 2010 and found that delays were modest and complaints almost non-existent." Completion of the current contract is scheduled for October 2, 2012. This work is the first of three phases to repair all 15 miles of the Road from Newfound Gap to the Park boundary at Gatlinburg, TN a process that Park managers expect to finish in 2016.
Update on Alternate Routes due to 441 Closure
While the landslide on the North Carolina side of Highway 441, through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will block the road indefinitely, Gatlinburg is very accessible by alternative routes. Detours from points South and East are easy to follow.
For information on road conditions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park call 865-436-1200
Alternate Routes to Gatlinburg
From Cherokee, NC
Take Hwy 19 North to I-40. Go I-40 West to Exit 440 and follow Wilton Springs Rd. to Hwy 321 South to
Take I-40 West to Exit 440 and follow Wilton Springs Rd. to Hwy 321 South to Gatlinburg.
From Greenville, SC
Take I-26 West towards to I-40 West to Exit 440 and follow Wilton Springs Rd. to Hwy 321 South to Gatlinburg.
From Chattanooga or Atlanta
From I-75 North, merge on to I-40 East, then take Exit 407, turn right onto Winfield Dunn Pkwy/Hwy 66/441 South, follow signs to Gatlinburg.
Take I-40 East towards Knoxville, take Exit 407, turn right onto Winfield Dunn Pkwy/Hwy 66/441 South, follow signs to Gatlinburg.
Take I-75 South to I-640 East, at Knoxville, then I-40 East to Exit 407, turn right onto Winfield Dunn Pkwy/Hwy 66/441 South, follow signs to Gatlinburg.
From I-81 South take I-40 East, to Exit 435 (Newport) and follow Hwy 321 South to Gatlinburg
Notice: Guests traveling to Deer Ridge Mountain Resort should consider an alternate route due to a major 2-year road widening project on HWY 66 in Sevierville, TN. If you're traveling South on I-81 or I-75 to I-40 near Knoxville, you should consider by-passing Exit 407
(the customary exit to the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area) and head East on I-40 to
Exit 435 in the city of Newport, TN. Take Exit 435 right onto HWY 321. Stay on HWY 321 into the town of Cosby, TN. In Cosby, HWY 321 turns right towards Gatlinburg. Travel about 6 miles and Deer Ridge Mountain Resort will be on the right in the Village of Cobbly Nob. Drive through the golf course and follow the signs to Deer Ridge Mountain Resort. Travelers from the East, use Exit 435 and follow the directions above from Newport.