ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway closed to traffic because of a 300-foot-long crack has been reopened.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that construction workers built bypass lanes that will allow two-way traffic between Milepost 376 and Mt. Mitchell State Park. The section opened on Monday.
The 500 foot long by-pass restores two-way traffic through the area affected by significant structural damage as a result of unusually heavy rainfall totals earlier this summer. The speed limit is down to 15 mph on the temporary lanes but the road is open just as the fall tourism season begins.
"We really wanted to try to accommodate really everybody, the communities, the visitors and everybody that knows and loves that stretch of the parkway this time of the year," said Leesa Sutton Brandon, the parkway's partnerships and community outreach coordinator.
The Craggy Gardens Visitor Center and Picnic Area, located at Milepost 364, was also reopened on Monday.
It's anticipated that the bypass route will close again and the detour routes will be reinstated in November 2013 so construction can resume to permanently stabilize the slope and repair the area.