TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) — A construction project meant to stabilize a popular roadway along a streambank in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will being shortly after the new year.

Park officials said Friday a North Carolina-based construction firm has been tasked with shoring up the streambank and roadway along Townsend Entrance Road between the park boundary and the Townsend Wye. The repairs have been needed since February after flooding eroded away part of the road along the Little River.

Work on the project is expected to begin Jan. 3 and finish in May, weather pending. The road will be reduced to a single lane along a quarter-mile section through March 18 to accommodate heavy equipment.

“Work will include constructing a rock wall along the base of the streambank and installing rip rap above the wall to the top of the bank,” a release from the park states. “These repairs will protect the streambank from eroding further and prevent undercutting of the Townsend Entrance Road.”

The Townsend Wye and surrounding parking areas will remain accessible throughout the project, although visitors should expect delays. Motorists will be guided through the single-lane closure by a traffic signal. After March 18, the contractor will complete any remaining work with temporary, single-lane closures managed with flaggers.

The Federal Highway Administration awarded the $625,000 contract to Bryant’s Land and Development Industries of Burnsville.  

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