The long-awaited “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley is set to open to the public on Veterans Day weekend. Friday November 9th the festivities will begin! This section will connect the Foothills Parkway in Walland to Wears Valley. This will enable visitors that come in on I-75 to head into Eastern Tennessee via the new National Park Road known as The Foothills Parkway.
This section of the Foothills Parkway will render some of the most spectacular views, as well as shorten their drive time. For the folks that are coming into Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend or Wears Valley from I-75, this driving option will get their vacation started earlier than later. In just a few minutes from Knoxville, their National Park experience will begin. Spectacular views, an opportunity to see wildlife and decompress in nature is sure to be a popular choice for visitors to Sevierville (Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Townsend and Wears Valley).
Once visitors are in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend or Wears Valley if they wish to experience the famous Dragon Tail of the Foothills they will be able to access it from the Foothills in Wears Valley. Hear again their National Park Experience is just a few turns away!
This Leg of the Foothills Parkway had been worked on since 1984. The contracts that were written prior to 2009 had no obligation for completion. When construction companies did not finish and were not granted more funding, they simply walked away from the project. A few years later, Congress would provide more funding and the whole process would start over again. This happened over and over again since the mid-1980s. In 2009 during the recession, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was started by the Obama Administration. In the new contracts for the leg of the Foothills Parkway that connects Walland to Wears Valley there were “Obligation to Complete clauses” that forced federal funds to not be wasted on projects that would not be completed. Since these federal contracts were written in this manner, the Foothills will open in 2018. Had the obligation for completion not been part of the agreements, the company that was awarded the contract would have already walked away from the Foothills.
That is a brief history of the leg of the Foothills Parkway that connects Walland and Wears Valley via the National Park.
With all that being said we are excited and looking forward to the opening of this section. Please plan to visit Wears Valley, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Townsend and see this new National Park Road called The Foothills Parkway!
For more information please stop into GSM Outfitters at 3275 Wears Valley Road Ste B Sevierville TN 37862 or call: 865-366-2608
Categorised in: Outdoors