Blue Ridge Parkway traffic in Asheville area will slow for ‘pavement preservation’

The sweet hum of spring and summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be slightly stifled with slower traffic and single-lane closures as a major repaving project gets underway.

The road work is in an effort to upgrade the more than 80-year-old scenic motor road and keep it from crumbling under the weight of 16.1 million visitors a year. The National Park Service is undertaking a “pavement preservation” project on more than 65 miles of the parkway between Milepost 359 to the road’s terminus at Milepost 469 in Cherokee.

Work is starting at MP 359, about 30 miles northeast of Asheville and just south of Mount Mitchell State Park, and will take place weekdays through September, moving south one section at a time.

The construction crew, Estes Bros. Inc. of Jonesville, Virginia, will work in 3-5-mile sections and repeat the resurfacing process as they move from section to section, said parkway spokeswoman Leesa Brandon.

The life cycle of the road is about 20 years, she said, which can be shortened by the parkway’s unique conditions — high elevations that are subject to a freeze-thaw cycle in the winter and solar radiation in the summer, as well as heavy traffic. There are some 235 miles that are at least 20 years old, and 195 of those miles are at least 30 years old.

Rehabilitation work on the Linn Cove Viaduct that started March 1 should be completed by Memorial Day weekend. The parkway is closed in the Linville area from Mileposts 298-305.

Read full story…

 

Similar Posts: