GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — April in the Smokies is a busy time so officials have decided to temporarily pause work inside a tunnel on the northbound side of the Gatlinburg Spur.
Both lanes through the tunnel will be open starting Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 16. Contractors will once again close a lane of travel starting Monday, April 17, to finish installing new LED lights and pavement striping in the tunnel.
One lane through the tunnel on the northbound side has been closed since January while crews repair and upgrade the road through the mountain. Long lines of traffic have been reported at times due to the work inside the tunnel.
Crews have been repairing drains, cleaning and painting the tunnel interior. Sodium lights are being replaced by LED lights and a new lighting control system is being installed on Huskey Grove Road. A propane-powered generator is also being installed to provide emergency backup.
The tunnel is expected to fully reopen by the end of April.
The spur connects Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, serving as one of the main entrances into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Federal Highway Administration awarded a $10.2 million construction contract to Bryant’s Land Development of Burnsville, NC for the repairs.