Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces closure dates for Lakeview Drive construction 

GATLINBURG, Tenn.— Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Lakeview Drive will be closed from August 14 to November 14 for reconstruction funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. 

During the construction, the road will be closed to all public access, including foot traffic, bicycles, horses, and vehicles. Cemeteries along Lakeview Drive will be open on Sunday, October 8 for anyone planning a Decoration Day or cemetery visit.

Hikers and visitors will not be able to access the Noland Creek Trail, Lakeshore Trail, Goldmine Loop Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Lakeview Drive Tunnel, or the Tunnel Bypass Trail from the road during the closure. During the road closure, backcountry campsites 65 and 67 will also be closed. All other backcountry campsites in the area will remain open but will only be reachable via routes and trailheads not accessed from Lakeview Drive. For specific information about backcountry access in the area, please contact the backcountry office at 865-436-1297. 

A July 12 news release announced this and other Great Smoky Mountains National Park projects funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. Supported by revenue from energy development, the Great American Outdoors Act provides funding to make significant enhancements in national parks and other public lands to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment for current and future visitors. The Great American Outdoors Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other construction funding sources are part of a concerted effort to address the extensive maintenance backlog in national parks. 

The Federal Highway Administration awarded a $15,681,860 construction contract to Bryant’s Land and Development Industries of Burnsville, NC for Lakeview Drive reconstruction. Work will include the complete reconstruction of the 6.5-mile-long road, replacement of all guardrails, construction of ADA accessible parking spaces, new road signs, drainage repair and other miscellaneous work.

For more information about temporary road and trail closures at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 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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