Published On: Thu, Aug 28th, 2014

Tunnel repair on Newfound Gap Road begins

Morton Tunnel Water Seepage (low res)Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced upcoming tunnel repair work inside the Morton Mountain Tunnel from Sept. 2-27. A full-time, single-lane closure will be in effect throughout the duration of the project. The tunnel is located 12 miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road.

A leak in the tunnel ceiling and walls caused significant damage on the north end of the tunnel. Last winter, the leak formed very large icicles and an ice mound on the road surface causing roadway hazards for drivers that had to be cleared before the road could be opened for safe travel. During the repair, the tunnel will have one lane closed to allow workers to cut channels for the installation of drainage pipes in the walls and ceiling of the tunnel. Debris curtains will be set up to shield vehicles from construction activities in the closed lane.

Visitors should expect delays through the 0.25-mile, single-lane closure area. Bluegrass Contracting Corporation of Lexington, KY was awarded the contract and will maintain traffic flow through the area using a temporary traffic signal. On weekends, flaggers will direct traffic through the area from 7a.m. – 9p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information about temporary road closures, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm and follow road status updates on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps.

– NPS

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