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.
The Resort at Governor’s Crossing announced today that the outdoor pools and lazy river will remain open and heated through October 31st. A definite closing date for the season will be decided at a later time depending on weather conditions and pool usage. The indoor waterpark is open year round.
Outdoor Pools and Lazy River
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park will be closing certain roads this spring for much needed repairs. These repairs will affect some of the parks most popular areas.
The Cades Cove Loop Road near Townsend, is slated for repaving from March 1 through May 21. Due to the fact the road has not been repaved in over thirty years, it will need to be totally closed down as it will require total reconstruction.
Clingmans Dome Road, which normally opens April 1st, will be kept closed until around May 29th. Along with road repairs, new public facilities are being installed at the parking area at Clingmans Dome.
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is also scheduled to be closed till May 29th. The popular 5 mile scenic loop is in Gatlinburg.
Weather conditions will play an important factor in getting these three projects completed on time. This winter and last fall have been extremely wet causing rock slides along certain roads and making for wet working conditions. We will report any announced delays in scheduled opening dates here on our blog and also on our Twitter page.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies announced Thursday an expansion that will include a habitat for about 20 African penguins. The new multimillion dollar exhibit is scheduled to open in mid-March and is located at the site of the former Veranda Restaurant.
The black footed African penguins average about 2 feet in height and weigh around 5 to 9 pounds. The African penguins, with shorter feathers than the Antarctic penguin, are from a warm climate that will allow for them to be displayed in an indoor-outdoor facility.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, located in downtown Gatlinburg, was named the top aquarium in the nation last year by Trip Advisor, the online travel website.
Country Music recording artist John Anderson will be in concert at Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge July 10th. Tickets are available by calling 800-792-4308 or may be purchased at the Country Tonite Theatre box office.
The Resort still has a few units available for this Memorial Day weekend. With much lower gas prices locally compared to last year and a decent weather forecast calling for clear skies on Friday and Saturday with just a chance of thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon with daytime temperatures in the low 80’s, this will be an ideal weekend to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. With all the rain we have seen the last two weeks and some very cool night time temperatures the mountains are extremely clear at this time allowing for great views of the . Notice how clear the mountains show up in these photos that were taken on 5/20/2009.
Mountain view in Cades Cove
Little River Road between Gatlinburg and Townsend
Now that May is finally here, its time to turn up the fun in the Smokies and the next two weekends should be jammed packed.
The 2009 Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade will be held this coming Friday, May 8th, at 6 P.M. on the main parkway in Pigeon Forge. This year’s parade has special meaning to Dolly, the parade grand marshal, as she is an official ambassador of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park . The parade is one of six Pigeon Forge special events the park has included into its anniversary celebration.
Sevierville’s annual Bloomin’BBQ & Bluegrass Festival will be held May 15 & 16 and Smoky Mountain Resorts is offering a special Rocky’s BBQ package for The Resort at Governors Crossing for stays May 12th-17th. Rocky’s BBQ Package includes a 2-night stay at The Resort, a stuffed Rocky the Bear, and a bottle of Rocky’s Smoky Mountain BBQ Sauce. For further information or to reserve this package call 800-497-5749.
Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
We would like to welcome you to our new blog and the new Governorscrossing.net. We hope every one enjoys our new website and finds it very useful and informative. At this time we would like to thank Tim & Joni Allinson and their staff at Tri-Point Teleproductions, Inc. and MotionCamVideos.com. They have worked very hard on getting this project completed and introduced many new ideas to us in building our new site.
With our new blog we hope to keep you informed on news and events from the Smoky Mountains plus the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg areas that may be of interest to you. Also we will be able to keep you informed of last minute happenings and specials at The Resort at Governors Crossing. This will allow you to access this information when you want it. We will continue to send out our news letters via email to those who wish to receive it.