The Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed to all traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, in three locations beginning November 14, 2011, and lasting until Summer 2012. The locations are: from Milepost 217.8, just south of Cumberland Knob, to Milepost 220.4 at NC Route 1460; from Milepost 226.3 at NC Route 1433 to Milepost 229.7 at US 21; and, from Milepost 232.5 at Stone Mountain Overlook to Milepost 236.9 at Air Bellows Gap Overlook. Detour traffic signage will direct visitors around closures via NC Route 18 through Sparta and Laurel Springs.
The Historic Stone Guardwall Reconstruction Project (Milepost 217 to Milepost 245) involves 28 miles of the 469 mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway and contains 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 the Parkway displays the historic rock walls that line the motor road. Constructed during the late 1930s, these rock walls are now an important historic Parkway resource. Built in the rustic style used throughout other American national parks, the walls are 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 these closures may cause Parkway visitors.