Monthly Archives: February 2011

Newfound Gap Road Construction Delays Starting in March

Travelers on Newfound Gap Road (U. S. 441) through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park will experience delays beginning March 1st. Repairs on the heavily traveled two lane mountain road will begin on the Tennessee side at the state line proceeding north. In addition to repaving and drainage work the stone retaining walls will require repairs including re-construction to support the roadbeds, forcing closure of one lane from March 1st through June 10th.

Just above the Morton Overlook the work on the retaining wall and roadbed will require flag crews to direct traffic from 8AM until 9PM. Overnight traffic will be open to both lanes. At a slightly lower location traffic lights will control traffic around the clock.

From June 11 through August 15 there will be no lane closures during daytime hours.  Overnight between 9PM and 8AM construction will again cause lane closures.

The expected completion time of this first phase of the road work project is scheduled for October 2012. An additional two phases are schedule to complete the repairs of the 15 mile stretch of road between Newfound Gap and the park entrance north of Gatlinburg with projected completion in 2016.

Construction of Dollywood’s “Barnstormer” on Schedule

A recent article in the Mountain Press stated the Dollywood’s new ride, the “Barnstormer”, should be ready by opening day. The ride is reminiscent of the stunts preformed by 1930s bi-plane pilots.

The new ride will accommodate 32 riders at one time and reach a height of 81feet with speeds up to 45mph. The ride is also ADA accessible as Dollywood has taken great strides to ensure those with disabilities can elect to enjoy the park. The “Barnstorms” is the fourth attraction that Dollywood has had manufactures modify so that it would be ADA accessible.

Season pass holders will have the opportunity to try the new ride March 25, with it opening to the general public on the park’s scheduled opening day March 26. Season pass holders will also be able to ride the “Barnstormer” one hour prior to the parks normal opening time in April, as it will be the parks featured attraction that month.