Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bridges the Foothills Parkway Missing Link

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

The HeySmokies expeditionary team is excited about touring the new section of the Foothills Parkway!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bridges the Foothills Parkway Missing Link. The long awaited bridge completion will herald the opening of a beautiful new section of the Foothills Parkway.

 National Park officials hosted a celebration for the bridging of the ‘Missing Link’ which completed a seven-year project to design and build five bridges at a cost of $48.5 million. This marks the first time that vehicles can travel the entire 16-mile section of the Foothills Parkway extending from Walland to Wears Valley, TN.

“We are excited to mark another milestone in the completion of this spectacular section of the Foothills Parkway,” said Acting Superintendent Clay Jordan. “With the missing link now bridged, we look forward to finishing the final paving and then opening the roadway to the public by the end of next year.”

Construction of this 16-mile section began in 1966. Most of the roadway was completed by 1989 when the project came to a halt due to slope failures and erosion during construction of the last 1.65 miles – known as the ‘Missing Link.’ The engineering solution included the construction of nine bridges to connect the roadway in an environmentally sustainable manner. These last five bridges mark an important milestone by completing the ‘Missing Link.’ Since 1966, $178 million has been invested in this 16-mile section of the Foothills Parkway spanning parts of Blount and Sevier Counties.

The HeySmokies expeditionary team has had the pleasure of touring the incomplete sections of the Parkway in recent years and we are excited to explore it completely when opened. In the meantime we can still enjoy the two sections that are open: Foothills Parkway East and Foothills Parkway West! Join us in 2018 for an auto tour that is destined to be absolutely incredible! Don’t forget to gas up!

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