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Thread: Major Landslide close 441 - Maybe for months

  1. #11
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    Default

    Bet that agreement didn't include foreseeable "acts of God", but if it did, I'd say "ante up" to Cherokee if your in a hurry. Might put a big thump in Cherokee's casino traffic.
    Whitefeather

    -don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
    _________________________________________________
    Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
    (Wilu Sgis, Wami Tsenitli Winidis, Ani Tiwuti Wiledi Weitas Do Ali!)

  2. #12

    Default 6-months minimum

    Hey guys,

    I'm a Civil Engineer and without actually seeing it, I would say that this repair will likely have to be a bridge or a substantial amount of fill material with some sort of drainage system and geogrid reinforcement (like the abutments along highway overpasses) . The problem with a bridge is ensuring an adequate foundation, or the next slide will wipe out the bridge. If it is a rockslide, there will likely have to be some stabilization above the slide such as rock bolts or shotcrete to reduce the chance of further sliding or spalling. There is likely a slip surface that will have to be eradicated through blasting or some other stabilization before any construction can begin.

    Looks like I'll be fishing on the NC side this Spring, unless they get some good weather and it's an easier fix than it appears. I wonder if the slide went far enough down the slope to affect the Oconaluftee?
    Kevin Brown
    www.ksbphotography.net

    “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library.” – Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon), Good Will Hunting

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFnut View Post
    Hey guys,

    I'm a Civil Engineer and without actually seeing it, I would say that this repair will likely have to be a bridge or a substantial amount of fill material with some sort of drainage system and geogrid reinforcement (like the abutments along highway overpasses) . The problem with a bridge is ensuring an adequate foundation, or the next slide will wipe out the bridge. If it is a rockslide, there will likely have to be some stabilization above the slide such as rock bolts or shotcrete to reduce the chance of further sliding or spalling. There is likely a slip surface that will have to be eradicated through blasting or some other stabilization before any construction can begin.

    Looks like I'll be fishing on the NC side this Spring, unless they get some good weather and it's an easier fix than it appears. I wonder if the slide went far enough down the slope to affect the Oconaluftee?
    TFnut,

    I have seen the type of structuring you mentioned somewhere in the park, I believe along the road leading into Smokemont, now that you mention it. You don't notice it from the road, but from the river it's plain to see. But I don't know if it was original when the road was built or if it was a later repair. And the bank its on is nearly a sheer 40 foot drop, instead of a steep grade like the one in buzz's photo. Hope they get it right the first time. Can you imagine coming upon that damage in a car going 45 mph like most people drive on 441 in the straight stretches. Wo-o-oah Nelly! Reminds me of the foredeck of an aircraft carrier.
    Whitefeather

    -don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
    _________________________________________________
    Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
    (Wilu Sgis, Wami Tsenitli Winidis, Ani Tiwuti Wiledi Weitas Do Ali!)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitefeather View Post
    Can you imagine coming upon that damage in a car going 45 mph like most people drive on 441 in the straight stretches. Wo-o-oah Nelly!
    Impossible! Nothing like that could ever happen around here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBmE92n5mEI
    Last edited by buzzmcmanus; 01-18-2013 at 09:04 AM. Reason: fixed link
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  5. #15
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    Halifax, VA
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    Thanks Whitefeather. I saw the mm 22 thing already but Google maps isn't locating any mile markers on the road. No big deal, I was just trying to tell some other folks approx where it was above Smokemont. They were just through there on Sunday.
    <(((>< In tribute to Ben, Duck Hunter extraordinaire, and man's best friend.

  6. #16
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    Default Maybe this will help



    And a few more pics that showed some additional sliding since first pictures







  7. #17
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    duckypaddler,

    Thanks for adding your photos, now we know the rest of the story. Looks like that small flow of water in buzz's photo has turned into a river all its own. No doubt the Luftee has suffered some severe siltation pollution with that mess. Has the rain and runoff subsided yet?
    Whitefeather

    -don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
    _________________________________________________
    Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
    (Wilu Sgis, Wami Tsenitli Winidis, Ani Tiwuti Wiledi Weitas Do Ali!)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    201

    Default Zip line needed for summer fishing access

    I’m drawing on memory, so I may not have it exactly correct, but as I recall US 441 is special in that when the national park was created, the charter for the park contained specific provisions that this route had to be maintained and open to traffic as it was before the NPS took control. The same is true of the highway from the Sugarlands to Townsend. Part of that provision also prohibits the NPS from charging admission to the GSMNP via these routes, something they do at other national parks like Yellowstone. While the NPS will probably drag its feet in fixing the road—as opposed to the haste that would be applied to an I-40 landslide, it will be fixed—hopefully better than their promises for the old North Road. In hindsight the states should have attached more strings when they pony-ed, but it is what it is.
    Regarding the Anakeesta exposure and the potential problems it may cause, I suppose that it is of some concern. When the first modern road was created there, cutting into the Anakeesta and exposing it was just the beginning of the problem. The big problem then was that the waste (which included the Anakeesta substrate) was crushed and used as fill during the construction of US 441. This greatly multiplied the acrid leeching process that impacted the streams. Back in the 1970s when the new road from TN to Robbinsville was under construction, there was a better understanding of the inherent problems of road construction where there is significant iron/acid substrate. When the road was cut through “hot spots,” on that particular project, at the behest of Dr. Bowers at the University of Tennessee School of Geology, much of potentially harmful fill was hauled away to prevent it from leeching into these mountain streams where there was no way to buffer its impact. As I recall, it took a hellva fight to get that done.
    One can only guess when and how the NPS plans is to fix US 441, but I am confident that it will include preventative measures to minimize problems associated with Anakeesta. This is not to say that acid rock resulting from the slide will not impact the river for a period of time, but I seriously doubt it will be as it was in the old days. These rivers have bounced back from worse beatings than this one.
    Perhaps a zip line might work until the road is fixed. I tried one last summer--pretty neat way to get from point A to point B.

  9. #19
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    Hopefully any acid rock is buried in the mud.

    Mountain bikes, anyone? Post a sign on 441; "Challenging Jump Just Ahead". Just kidding!
    Whitefeather

    -don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
    _________________________________________________
    Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
    (Wilu Sgis, Wami Tsenitli Winidis, Ani Tiwuti Wiledi Weitas Do Ali!)

  10. #20
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    Oct 2008
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    Smile Update

    Great Smoky Mountains News Release Update

    Contact: Molly Schroer, Molly_Schroer@nps.gov
    Phone number: 865-436-1203
    Date: January 29, 2013


    Landslide Work Progressing


    Work is progressing to repair the landslide which has closed a section of Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Two key steps are already underway to initiate the reconstruction of the road.


    A contract has been awarded for the first phase of work to APAC �Atlantic, Harrison Division to develop an access road to the slide area, remove debris, and stabilize the slope above the work area. This phase is estimated to cost around $200,000 and will prepare the site for the second phase of work which will involve a complete reconstruction of the roadway. This first phase began on January 28, and is expected to be completed in a few weeks.


    The contracting piece for the second phase, involving the actual road reconstruction, was initiated on Friday January 25, when Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) posted a pre-solicitation for qualified contractors with interest in repairing the landslide. The contract for this phase of work is estimated to cost between $3,000,000 and $7,000,000, and is expected to be awarded by mid-February. Final construction work will begin soon after.
    The schedule of the road reconstruction will be determined by the information received in the solicitation package, but is anticipated to be complete by mid-May to early June. Newfound Gap Road will remain closed to thru traffic during the construction, but visitors are still able to access the park to Newfound Gap from the Tennessee side and to Smokemont Campground from the Cherokee entrance.




    Molly Schroer
    Public Affairs Office
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    (865) 436-1203 office
    (865) 210-1983 cell
    (865) 436-1204 (fax)






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