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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 PM
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Unhappy Major Landslide close 441 - Maybe for months

Great Smoky Mountains News Release



Immediate Release Contact: Molly Schroer
Date: January 16, 2013 865/436-1203


Newfound Gap Road Closed Due to Landslide


Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) due to a landslide which undercut the road near mile marker 22 between Collins Creeks and Webb Overlook at 9:40 am. The slide is estimated to be a 200 foot section of road extending 1000 foot down slope, but the full extent of the damage is not yet known. The closure is expected to be in effect for an extended period of time.


The park is evaluating the remainder of the roadway, but anticipates Newfound Gap Road will be opened to visitors from the Gatlinburg Entrance in Tennessee to Newfound Gap Parking lot as soon as it is possible. The road will be open to Smokemont on the North Carolina side.


Park staff are working with the Department of Federal Highway�s Construction and Geotechnical Services to evaluate the slide damage and to begin planning for repairs. Additional details will be released as the condition assessments are analyzed.


As of midnight, Tuesday, January 15, the park received 8.56 inches of rain measured at Cherokee, 7.4 inches at Newfound Gap and 6.86 inches at LeConte. Rivers and streams have been running fast and high since Sunday when the rains began. There are currently multiple temporary road closures throughout the park due to high water.


For the most current road closure reports, please call 865-436-1200 x 631 or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.






Caption to attached photo: A landslide along Newfound Gap Road near mile marker 22 has caused an extended closure of the road.


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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Old 01-16-2013, 04:14 PM
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:13 PM
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wow, that looks like a mess
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:04 AM
flyman01 flyman01 is offline
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Wow, now I see where the name came from, that is truly a "new found gap"!!!!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:46 AM
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I talked to a guy yesterday who knows a guy with the Park service who knows a guy who said - in other words, pure speculation - that the road may not be fixed until July. In truth, I don't think they have been able to get on the site to do a full inspection and make an accurate determination of the damage. On a ridge above Alarka Creek I've emptied my 4" rain gauge twice since Sunday. I understand the Nantahala at the NOC is over its banks and the big parking lot across the river is a lake. Some of the boaters who like to run the cascades on the upper Nan have deemed it too high to run. And it continues to rain.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:37 AM
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I wonder if that exposed a bunch of anakeesta. Yeah we could have more events like this in smokies and the region before this is over...
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:05 PM
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Don't know if there are any civil engineers that belong to the forum, but I'd be interested in an opinion by one as to what has to be done to correct this mess, based on the photo buzz posted. Looks like a new bridge project to me, but I'm just guessing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:20 PM
cockeye valdez cockeye valdez is offline
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scientific wild a--- guess is: dig until suitable material to support a structure is found. N.P.S. has very specific restrictions for construction, however the agreement with Cherokee N.C. to keep the road open for gambling may trump any restrictions.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:38 PM
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So NPS has an agreement with Cherokee? That would definately play into it if so but I can't imagine them getting in a big hurry in and of themselves.

I'm trying to picture exactly where this is at, how far above Smokemont turnout?
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bran View Post
So NPS has an agreement with Cherokee? That would definately play into it if so but I can't imagine them getting in a big hurry in and of themselves.

I'm trying to picture exactly where this is at, how far above Smokemont turnout?
"due to a landslide which undercut the road near mile marker 22 between Collins Creeks and Webb Overlook at 9:40 am."
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