The Blue Ridge Parkway is open year round except for sections that may be closed due to ice and snow, storm damage, or for construction or maintenance activities. Weather-related closures can change quickly during the winter. Even in summer months, winds at higher elevations have been known to bring down limbs that close sections of the Parkway. An open Parkway is a safe Parkway.
Be sure to check road conditions before you travel and during your visit to ensure the areas you want to visit are open.
Blue Ridge Parkway road closure information is available online through the Real-Time Road Closure Map provided by the National Park Service.
Many factors affect the removal of ice and snow, such as extreme temperatures, lack of sunlight in constantly shaded areas, or thawing and refreezing on bridges. This may cause some sections to be closed for extended periods in the winter. These sections are only opened when they are safe for travel.
Some sections of the Parkway cannot be gated and closed, and visitors should exercise extreme caution when traveling in these areas during the winter. It is important to observe all signs, and information posted on the Real-Time Road Closure Map. In certain severe circumstances, sections may be closed to all traffic – including hikers, bicyclists and skiers.
A small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, Virginia is open after temporary repairs were completed to mitigate a small slope failure. The Parkway has reopened from Milepost 115.5 (Explore Park entrance) to Milepost 121.4 (U.S. Hwy 220). Park visitors and drivers in this section should anticipate a shifted lane alignment, warning signs, new pavement markings and a regulatory speed reduction to 35 mph.
The largest hazard is a full road failure roughly one hundred and fifty feet (150′) in length near Milepost 128. This complex road failure will require a closure of at least 12 to 18 months. Due to the hazardous nature of this slope failure, the section of Blue Ridge Parkway from U.S. Hwy 220 (Milepost 121.4) to Adney Gap at U.S. Hwy 221 (Milepost 135.9) is closed to all uses including motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.
VA Route 24) to Milepost 135.9 (Adney Gap at U.S. Hwy 221) throughout the summer.
The National Park Service announced on April 30, 2020, that over 80 miles of the historic motor route in three primary areas in Virginia will be resurfaced as part of a pavement preservation program on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Resurfacing began in mid-May and is expected to continue through November of 2020, with no work scheduled during October. Work locations, within scheduled project areas, have changed weekly, and visitors in active work zone areas should expect single lane closures and delays. The National Park Service appreciates the public’s patience and cooperation during this project.
Resurfacing work this year includes the following sections of Parkway, and includes the paved road-side pullouts:
As with any road project, motorists and park users must exercise caution. In the interest of visitor safety, park visitors are asked to:
Project vendors will work in short sections and repeat the resurfacing process as they move from section to section of the full project. The steps in this process include prepping the surface, applying a chip seal surface of liquid asphalt and stone chips, allowing the surface to properly cure, vacuuming the work area to minimize loose gravel, applying a fog seal on top of the chip seal surface, and finishing by painting new road marking lines. The process will then repeat on the next section of the project.
The Blue Ridge Parkway inventory of paved roads includes bridges, tunnels, parking areas, spur roads, service roads, campground and picnic area roads, and the 469-mile Parkway motor route itself. Given the large inventory of paved surfaces along the Parkway, and in order to effectively invest available funding, the pavement preservation strategy focuses on keeping the good sections good and returning fair sections to good condition.
Pavement preservation is a regular road maintenance strategy in national parks. Studies find that for each dollar spent on pavement preservation between $6 and $10 in future pavement rehabilitation costs are saved. Funding for road maintenance in national parks, including the Parkway, comes in large part from the Highway Trust Fund, which is derived from a federal gas tax managed by the Federal Highway Administration.
Work is underway on a project to widen approximately 16.9 miles of I-26 from U.S. Hwy 64, in Hendersonville, to Brevard Road, in Asheville, NC. The widening of I-26 requires the installation of a new bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway over the I-26 interstate at interstate mile marker 36 (near Parkway Milepost 391). Construction of the new bridge also requires realigning approximately 3000 linear feet of Parkway. Officials from NCDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior and the Blue Ridge Parkway have agreed on a general plan to build the new bridge and remove the existing structure. The Parkway bridge project is expected to take approximately three years. Completion date according to NCDOT for the entire widening project is 2024. More information about the Parkway bridge project is available here.