(Asheville, NC)— Due to recent severe winter storms and heavy accumulations of snow and ice, as well as downed trees, the majority of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed. While many sections of the Parkway are gated closed at this time, motorists should be aware that it is not physically possible to gate many hazardous sections of the Parkway.
North Carolina counties of Alleghany, Ashe, and Wilkes, and Virginia counties of Franklin, Floyd, Patrick, Carroll and Grayson all have sections which are NOT gated and extremely hazardous or, in fact, impassable due to snow, ice and downed trees. When major accumulations of snow, ice or other road hazards such as downed trees and tree limbs are present, it often takes Parkway personnel several weeks to clear the road, especially at higher evaluations where snow pack is deeper and cooler temperatures impede the melting of snow and ice accumulations. In road sections with tunnels or north facing cliffs, the closures may last longer due to heavy ice accumulations and limited exposure to warm air.
The following road closures are due to heavy accumulations of snow and ice:
• Closed at Milepost 1 at Interstate 64 at Rockfish Gap to Milepost 85 at Peaks of Otter Developed Area. This area is only accessible via VA State Route 43 from Bedford or Buchanan.
• Closed at Milepost 91 at Bearwallow Gap to Milepost 106 at US Route 460.
• Closed at Milepost 106 at US Route 460 to Milepost 122 at US Route 220. Crews are working to open this section in the Roanoke area.
• Closed at Milepost 122 at US Route 220 to Milepost 136 at Adney Gap.
• Closed at Milepost 234 at Deep Gap to Milepost 242 at Ice Rock.
• Closed at Milepost 285 at Bamboo Gap to Milepost 288 at Aho Gap.
• Closed at Milepost 290 at the Thunder Hill Parking Overlook to Milepost 291 at US Routes 321/221.
• Open at Bass Lake from US Route 221 outside of Blowing Rock.
• Closed at Milepost 294.5 at the Sandy Flats Maintenance Area to Milepost 296.
• Closed at Milepost 298 at Holloway Mountain Road to Milepost 382, just outside of Asheville.
• Open from US Hwy. 70 at Milepost 382 to the Folk Art Center. Park Headquarters and the Visitor Center at Milepost 385 are open from US Hwy. 74. Crews are working to open the Parkway from Milepost 382 to Milepost 388 at US Hwy. 25.
• Closed at Milepost 388 to Milepost 469 at Cherokee.
The following sections of the Parkway are closed but accessible to private driveways. Travel is extremely hazardous and at the risk of the traveler:
• Milepost 136 at Adney Gap to Milepost 234 at Deep Gap.
• Milepost 242 at Ice Rock to Milepost 285 at Bamboo Gap.
• Milepost 288 at Aho Gap to Milepost 290 at the Thunder Hill Parking Overlook.
• Milepost 291 at US Routes 321/221 to Milepost 294.5 at the Sandy Flats Maintenance Area.
• Milepost 296 to Milepost 298 at Holloway Mountain Road.
Areas of road closure may still be used by pedestrians, including skiers and bicyclists, in compliance with park regulations. The closure at Milepost 400 remains completely closed to all access.
It should be noted that all closed sections of the Parkway that remain accessible via state roads, and any travel on uncleared or unplowed sections of the motor road, present extremely hazardous driving conditions and should be avoided. Visitors who drive in the closed sections of the Parkway travel at their own risk and may be subject to fines and/or citations from Park Law Enforcement Rangers.
Parkway staff is in the process of preparing a damage assessment which will be used to request supplemental funding for additional temporary staff needed to help reopen all sections of the Parkway.
Please call the Park Info Line at (828) 298-0398 for updated road closure information for your area.
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