Rough Ridge

The observation platforms at Rough Ridge, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Blowing Rock, offer hikers some of the most stunning views in the Appalachians.

WATAUGA COUNTY — The popular Rough Ridge overlook near Grandfather Mountain will remain open to visitors through the near-three-month closure of the nearby Linn Cove Viaduct.

“Rough Ridge will still be accessible,” Blue Ridge Parkway spokesperson Leesa Brandon said. “A section of trail under the Viaduct however will be closed.”

The National Park Service on Feb. 7 announced that the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed for surface repaving and bridge maintenance from March 1 through May 24.

These projects require a full closure of the Viaduct, located at milepost 304, at the Parkway, including closure of the trail below the bridge; with the reopening coinciding with Memorial Day weekend. Within the closed area, including the trail areas beneath the viaduct, the Parkway will be closed to all uses including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

A traffic detour will be put in place from milepost 298.6 (Holloway Mountain Rd) to milepost 305.1 (U.S. 221). Gates will be located at milepost 303.6, Wilson Creek Overlook on the north and milepost 305.1, U.S. 221 on the south end of the work zone.

During the closure, crews will remove and replace the 1,243-foot-long asphalt pavement, waterproofing membrane and joints on the bridge. Repairs to the supporting structure, which includes seven permanent piers, a stone curb, railing and drainage features, will also be made to the 15-million-pound structure.

Deep Gap Parkway

section remains closed

Over a week after a rock slide resulted in the closure of a four-and-a-half-mile stretch of the Parkway near Deep Gap, a timetable for reopening the road is yet to be determined.

“We’re still waiting to hear from our maintenance and engineering staff regarding the scope of work needed at the site,” Brandon explained. “The timeline will depend largely on the road and stabilization work needed.”

The Monday, Feb. 12, rock slide at milepost 277 was caused by heavy rains. The section closed goes from milepost 276.4, at the intersection with U.S. 421 in Deep Gap, to milepost 280.9, near Parkway School.

This is the second time in under a year that a road blockage caused a closure at milepost 277. On March 31, 2017, a rock and mud slide resulted in a closure of the same stretch of road through most of April 2017.

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