National Park Service Proposed Improvements for the Spur
The National Park Service has opened up a period to hear from the public about proposed plans to improve the US 441/US 321 Spur connecting Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Several improvements are being proposed for the 4.2 mile long stretch of roadway that runs through the National Park. Those proposed improvements include addressing drop-off and rockslide issues along the roadway…implementation of Intelligent Transportation Signs which would warn motorists to watch their speed and watch for wildlife, mainly bears in the area of the highway…plus there are improvements being proposed for three different intersections along the Spur, including Wiley Oakley Road. That intersection has become troublesome as Westgate Resort sits on one side and the Gatlinburg visitors Center is on the other side of the Spur. One proposal is to build a flyover ramp connecting Westgate to The Welcome Center and Wiley Oakley keeping Motorists from having to cross all lanes of the Spur. The Spur was originally approved and built as part of the Foothills Parkway that has yet to be completed. But the Spur now handles some 49,000 vehicles a day making proposed improvements necessary. To see the proposals and to make comments about the different plans just go to parkplanning.nps.gov/SpurImprovements. Public comments are now open for submission till September 26th.