Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent, Dale Ditmanson, has received word that the nation’s most visited national park is slated to receive $64,006,150 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The bulk of the money is targeted towards road work, but the Park’s trails, cemeteries, public restrooms, and other buildings will also be improved.
“This is about eight times what the Smokies receives in an average year for projects of this type.” Ditmanson said. “We look forward to making improvements in the Park’s infrastructure and improving the experience of those using Park facilities as well expanding job opportunities in our neighboring communities.”
The Park expects to receive more than $1.2 million to hire trail workers to make improvements to 22 miles of eroded horse trails in Tennessee and 10.4 miles of trails in North Carolina, as well as to restore 1 historic cemeteries in North Carolina.
Contracts totaling $259,000 will be awarded to paint and reroof umerous buildings throughout the Park. Contracts will also be issued to perform over $4 million worth of improvements to public restrooms in campgrounds and picnic areas to make them handicapped accessible.
Approximately $25 million will be available to repave and rehabilitate four areas: the 9 mile-long Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Cherokee Orchard Road near Gatlinburg, the seven mile Clingmans Dome Road, just south of Newfound Gap in Swain County, NC, the Cosby Campground in Cocke County, TN, and the popular parking area locally known as “The Sinks” along Little River Road.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.