WAYNESVILLE – N.C. Department of Transportation officials recently awarded a contract to stabilize a hillside on Cove Creek Road about five miles from Jonathan Creek Road in Haywood County.
S.W. Ledford, of Hayesville, earned the contract for $999,930, more than 40 percent less than the original estimate.
NCDOT engineers and officials from Great Smoky Mountains National Park have determined the safest course of action is to close public access to the Cataloochee area until construction is complete.
The winding, narrow and unpaved road will be closed starting Feb. 10. It is scheduled to reopen on May 20.
Crews will restore the original width of the road by building a new retaining wall on the slope above the road to help prevent future slides and unexpected closures.
In 2013, a slide removed a portion of the road and hillside below the road. NCDOT crews made short-term repairs that have kept the road passable for more than six years. Now, these improvements should stabilize this location for decades.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will close Highway 284 — the alternate route into Cataloochee from Tennessee — throughout the duration of the construction project at the park boundary approximately two miles north of Mt. Sterling Gap. For more information on GSMNP road and trail closures, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm