11 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway reopen
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- An 11-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Mitchell has reopened.
The road was first closed last fall after being damaged by heavy rains. It reopened Memorial Day weekend, only to close again last month.
Heavy rains from two tropical storms in fall 2004 caused so much erosion that parts of the road collapsed down the mountainside. Although the road reopened again, repairs continued on a short segment and traffic was allowed on a single lane.
On June 11, heavy rains from the remnants of a tropical storm caused that one-lane segment to buckle, and parkway officials closed the road again.
An 8-mile segment of the parkway near Linville Falls is still closed from hurricane damage.
The Federal Highway Administration is negotiating with a contractor now and hopes to award a contract within a matter of weeks.