Linn Cove Viaduct Will Not Open this Weekend as Scheduled; Highway 221 Detour Remains Closed

Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm

By Nathan Ham

The Linn Cove Viaduct, closed since March 1 for some repairs and road resurfacing, had hoped to be reopened in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

With the recent heavy rains and wet conditions, unfortunately the popular scenic drive will not be reopened as planned.

An email from High Country Host marketing director Candice Cook announcing the closure was confirmed by Blue Ridge Parkway spokesperson Leesa Brandon.

The paving company will need between 48 and 72 hours of dry weather to complete the last phase of the project. They hope to have it completed within the next two weeks.

Complicating matters even more is that the original detour, Highway 221, is now also closed due to last week’s heavy rains that washed away part of the road.

An updated detour map is available here.

In February, the National Park Service announced that the viaduct would undergo some surface repaving and bridge maintenance that included support structures, stone curbing, railing and drainage features.

The Linn Cove Viaduct was completed in 1987 as the final and most difficult part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The viaduct was constructed to avoid the damage that would have been caused to Grandfather Mountain with the tree cutting and land clearing that would have been required for a traditional road. Construction began in 1979. The viaduct consists of 153 different segments with each weighing approximately 50 tons and was constructed from the top down with the help of a massive crane operation that put each piece into place.

 

 

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