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.