Park plans 2023 lane closure on Spur for tunnel repairs 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that traffic on the northbound Spur will be reduced to one lane on January 3 through April 7, 2023, to allow for tunnel repairs. Concrete barriers will be placed along the center line of the tunnel to allow crews to make repairs within the closed lane while allowing through traffic on the open lane. For the safety of workers, motorists are reminded to reduce speeds and refrain from honking when traveling through the construction zone. 

“We are doing everything we can to expedite the project and minimize the impact on our local communities,” said Facility Management Division Chief Barbara Hatcher. “While the single-lane closures will cause temporary delays, the repairs are necessary to address water leaks and lighting improvements.”

To efficiently complete the work, closures will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the construction period. Crews will replace drains, clean and paint the tunnel interior, replace sodium lights with new LED lights, install a new lighting control system on Huskey Grove Road, and install a propane-powered generator for emergency backup. To prepare for the tunnel repairs, crews staged equipment and began installing infrastructure to support the lighting control system on Huskey Grove Road earlier this month.  

The Federal Highway Administration awarded a $10,284,135 construction contract to Bryant’s Land Development of Burnsville, NC for the repairs, which should fully conclude by June 5, 2023. The National Park Service incentivized the contract by providing an opportunity for the contractor to earn $10,000 per day, for up to 45 days before April 7, for early completion of the repair work that requires the single-lane closure on the Spur. 

Throughout the project, motorists should expect traffic delays, drive with extra caution in work zones and follow traffic control signage. For more information about temporary road closures, please visit the park’s Current Road, Facility, Trail & Backcountry Updates webpage. 

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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