Blue Ridge Parkway Summer 2018 Road Work Schedule
All good things must be maintained over time lest they lose their luster, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is no exception. NPS has been working to maintain the roadway on the Parkway, filling potholes, ensuring a smooth driving surface, and minimizing further wear and tear from the millions who experience America’s Favorite Drive each year.
Resurfacing of the roadway continues throughout the Summer 2018 travel season. Here’s everything you need to know about the planned Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance and how it may affect your plans to the areas where work is being done.
Will sections of the Parkway scheduled for maintenance be closed?
Single-lane closures will be in effect for the section of road being worked on at any given time. This means the sections will be open to traffic but some delays to travel can occur.
What areas of the Parkway are being resurfaced this season?
Work will progress in sections.
Virginia Parkway resurfacing projects are moving south to north in the Plateau Region and include mileposts
- MP 135-121
North Carolina Parkway resurfacing projects are moving north to south in the Pisgah Region and include mileposts
- MP 359-365
- MP 393-413
- MP 424-469
What is the schedule of work on the Parkway?
Work on the Virginia Parkway Mileposts 135-121 is currently underway, with that section set to be complete by the end of June 2018.
Preliminary work such as installing signage and clearing has begun for the entire range of North Carolina Mileposts and may include brief one-lane closures June 4-11. Actual maintenance, with one-lane closures throughout the duration of the section being worked on, begins Monday June 11.
Work Schedule as planned for NC Parkway Mileposts:
- MP 359-365: June 11-25
Destinations in this area: Craggy Gardens
- MP 393-413: June 18-July 23
Destinations in this area: NC Arboretum, Mount Pisgah
- MP 469-459: July 16-August 12
Destinations in this area: Cherokee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- MP 457-440: August 1- 31
- MP 440-424: August 27-September 25
Richland Balsam Overlook and Trail
How will the pavement preservation projects affect my planned route on my Parkway trip?
Expect delays if traveling through a section of the Parkway during the active period of maintenance. If you’re on a leisurely road trip with no set timetable, this won’t affect you much.
If you have scheduled activities, you may consider taking an alternate route around the work section. To plan your own detour, use the Access Points filter on our Blue Ridge Parkway Interactive Map to see where to get off the Parkway before the work zone and back onto the Parkway past the work zone.
If you are traveling on your motorcycle or bicycle, you may consider taking an alternate route during or just after work on a given section of the Parkway. Pavement preservation uses chip seal, which is a surface that hardens into the roadway over time and as traffic traverses it.
Due to the high rates of auto traffic on the Blue Ridge Parkway, by about two weeks after the resurfacing, there is no discernible difference from asphalt where the ride is concerned. This work also includes a top sealing agent and thorough sweeping after the work is complete. You may find this doesn’t impact your enjoyment of the ride in any way, even during or just after the work – just use caution and be aware that conditions could be different than usual.
More Summer Parkway Travel Tips
Attempting to use Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, GPS, or other mapping apps or websites for navigating the Blue Ridge Parkway absolutely does not work!
There are several reasons for this:
- Traditional mapping tools are set up to take you via the shortest route not the scenic one. If you try to use one of these services, you will be routed off the Parkway in most cases to a shorter route (even if you’re trying to travel from one end of the Parkway to the other).
- Destinations on the Parkway don’t have typical addresses. They have assigned Milepost numbers from 0-469. Traditional map services are set to deal with addresses.
- Information about road closures as reflected on Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc. is not reliable. Google Maps relies on crowd-sourced information – anyone can add to Google Maps. The problem is that a helpful citizen may add a closure to Google Maps – but not remove it when the section reopens. These services intermittently receive and display road closure information, and it is usually inaccurate to what is actually open or closed at any given time.
- Not all areas of the Parkway have cell or internet reception and in some places connectivity is intermittent. You are probably aware that the accuracy of the navigational information you receive is impacted when your signal is interrupted.
How to Reliably Navigate the Parkway
In addition to taking the road maintenance schedule above into consideration when planning your Summer Parkway Trip, these are the tools you need:
- Realtime Road Closure Map – This map is updated by NPS daily and reflects actual closures on the Parkway due to weather-related incidents like wind and rain that lead to downed trees and debris on the road. Because of the wide range of elevations and potential for severe weather, it’s always a good idea to check the Realtime Map before you set out. It does not always reflect sections with delays for single-lane closures, so keep that in mind.
- Interactive Parkway Map – This map includes filters for all Access Points and categories of interest so you can plan where to get food, gas and lodging or exit the Parkway to explore a nearby attraction or community.
- Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner App – This app includes access to the maps mentioned above, detailed community maps, offline maps for when you’re out of cell range, cultural and natural resource info, and the whole app works even when you don’t have internet connectivity on the Parkway. The app is being redesigned and will be available here for Android and Apple devices any day now.
- Paper Maps – You can pick up a copy of our Blue Ridge Parkway Map or our Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner at many points on the way and along the way including