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Blue Ridge Parkway Commuter Section Closure
Downpours force rangers to close a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The road is now blocked between Highway 191 and US 25. Its called the commuter section of the parkway, but tourists add to the flow of cars on the scenic highway.
Shortly before noon Monday, parkway workers put up barricades at the intersection with Highway 191, near the Arboretum.
A few miles north, last nights downpours swept over a drainage system on the south end of the parkway bridge over I-26. The water washed out support for the drains and the parkway, undercutting it about 3 feet. The section will force local drivers and tourists to find detours.
Rangers say water has only one place to go as it flows across the bridge, so erosion around the bridge abutment here is probably the result of the soggy spring and summer weather. But they remind everyone the parkway will remain open, north and south of the closure.
Rangers say Federal Highway Administration engineers will inspect the problem tomorrow. Rangers estimate it will take about 2 weeks to repair.
By: Sherrill Barber
Follow Sherrill on Twitter: @sherrillbarber