The Cades Cove Loop Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed temporarily to motor vehicles until 10 a.m. each morning, April 28-May 1, Monday-Thursday, to accommodate road construction along the one-way loop road. The 11-mile scenic road, located eight miles from Townsend, Tenn., usually opens at sunrise. During the construction period, hikers and bikers will be permitted to travel back and forth just on a 5-mile portion of the road between the loop road entrance and the construction site.
The Cades Cove Facility Management road crew will perform several projects during this time. They will resurface the Abrams Creek Trail entrance road and parking area with crushed stone and repair the drainage system in those areas. A wooden bridge on the loop road that carries traffic over Abrams Creek will be rehabilitated in this area as well.
Pedestrians will not be permitted past the point of the bridge construction nor will they be allowed to travel the south side (exit side) of the Loop Road where heavy construction vehicles will be transporting all the equipment and materials via the exit side of the loop road. Also, Sparks Lane and Hyatt Lane, the roads bisecting the Cove, will be closed to make sure that pedestrians do not enter the closed area.
Chief Ranger Bill Wright said that “It is mainly for safety reasons that visitors will not be allowed to share the narrow roadway with these large maintenance vehicles moving equipment back and forth on the back side of the road. It will also help to make sure that the construction activity is not disrupted by bicyclists and hikers blocking the road since our employees have a short window to finish the work.”