Newfound Gap Road closed indefinitely after landslide washes roadway away
The landslide completely washed away a section of Newfound Gap Road.
The slide moved about 90,000 cubic yards of material.
GATLINBURG (WATE) - Newfound Gap Road, which is the main thoroughfare connecting Gatlinburg and Cherokee, N.C. through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is closed indefinitely.
Newfound Gap Road, also known as Highway 441, was completely washed away about 90,000 cubic yards of material after a landslide undercut the road near mile marker 22 between Collins Creek and Webb Overlook.
The slide happened around 9:40 a.m. and is estimated to have affected a 200-foot section of the road, extending another 1,000 feet down the slope.
Park officials said in a news release that the full extent of the damage is not yet known, however 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.
Rivers and streams have been running fast and high since Sunday when the rains began.
There were multiple temporary road closures throughout the park, in addition to Newfound Gap Road, because of the high water.