Road repairs continuing in Chimney Rock Park

Reopening date pushed up
Feb. 28, 2014 @ 05:05 AM

The February snow and cold temperatures have delayed the reopening for the Chimney Rock access at Chimney Rock State Park.

The main entrance into the park was closed Feb. 4 for repairs to the two lane road leading to the Park.

Officials had hoped to have the road accessible and the park open by this Saturday, but an eight inch snowfall in February and severe winter weather in January, hindered the work of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Park officials expect the Park will be open in the next two weeks.

According to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, the work was supposed to take no longer than three weeks.

The retaining wall that supports the section of roadway near the park entrance is being replaced and the road will be repaired.

After the construction period, single-lane access to the park will be available as road repairs continue.

The road closure affects the accessibility to Chimney Rock, the elevator, Outcroppings Trail and the other visitor facilities.

“No project is ever easy when working on a mountain like Chimney Rock,” said Matt Popowski, public relations and events manager.

In May, a 75-foot section in one lane of the road collapsed during a period of heavy rainfall.The park remained open with one lane of traffic at that section of roadway since it was the tourism season.

“We are taking advantage of this closure to replace railings at Vista Rock and make other improvements on the mountain,” Popowski said.

Throughout the period, the park’s Rumbling Bald Climbing Access has remained open.

Check the website for up-to-date progress reports.

When the Park reopens, reduced admission rates will be $10 adult, $5 youth (ages 5-15) and free for kids younger than 5, due to the elevator and Hickory Nut Falls trail closures.

The Old Rock Café is open daily 11 a.m.-4 p.m., weather permitting.

For more information, contact the park office at 828-625-1823 or visit www.chimneyrockpark.com.