"Key steps" underway to reconstruct road at landslide

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park say work has started to reconstruction an area of the national park that was destroyed by a landslide.

Park officials say two key steps are underway to initiate the reconstruction of Newfound Gap Road inside the national park.

The park has awarded the first phase of work to APAC, Atlantic, Harrison Division, to develop an assess road to the slide area, remove debris, and stabilize the slope above the work area. Officials estimate this will cost around $200,000.

The 2nd phase of work will involve the reconstruction of the roadway and contractors can bid on the work now. It's expected to cost between $3 and $7 million dollars to get the road repaired.

Right now the park estimates the road will reopen by mid-May to early June. The park says this is a top priority project for them to complete.

"And allowing access to all of our visitors to the complete park everywhere is always important to us, So this is a top priority for us to try to get this road open as quickly as we can," said Molly Schroer, National Park Spokesperson.

Newfound Gap Road will remain closed to thru traffic during the construction, but visitors are still able to access the park to Newfound Gap from the Tennessee side and to Smokemont Campground from the Cherokee entrance.

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