(Alleghany County, NC) The Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed to all traffic from Milepost 232.5 at Stone Mountain Overlook to Milepost 236.9 at Air Bellows Gap Overlook Parking beginning July 15, 2011, and lasting until Summer of 2012. Detour traffic signage will direct Parkway visitors around the closure area via NC Route 18 and US Highway 21 through Laurel Springs and Sparta.
The Doughton Park Campground and Brinegar Cabin are open and accessible by traveling the Parkway from the south.
Beginning the Spring of 2012, additional closures and detours will follow between Milepost 218 near Cumberland Knob and Milepost 230. The Bluffs Lodge and Coffee Shop will remain closed for the season.
The Historic Stone Guardwall Reconstruction Project will involve 28 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 217 to Milepost 245) that contain 32,000 linear feet of historic rock masonry walls. A significant portion of the walls are severely deteriorated due to settlement and the effect of freeze-thaw cycles over the past 75 years. This project rehabilitates and reconstructs the most deficient wall sections.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is recognized worldwide as an international example of landscape design achievement. Designed and built to provide a leisurely recreational driving experience and showcase the scenic resources of the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, this section of Parkway displays the historic rock guide walls that line the motor road.
Constructed during the late 1930s, these rock walls are now an important historic Parkway resource. Though built in the rustic style used throughout other American national parks, the walls have become a significant feature that defines the visual and historic character of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This project will restore the structural integrity and historic appearance of this important cultural resource.
Blue Ridge Parkway management regrets the inconvenience or delay this closure may cause Parkway visitors.