May 25, 2007
National Park Service: Don't finish 'Road to Nowhere'
The Road to Nowhere - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
American Hiking Society applauds the National Park Service for their stance on the Road to Nowhere. This is great news for hikers and all those that feel that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a gem that should be protected from additional road development on the North Shore of Fontana Lake.
Associated Press - May 25, 2007
RALEIGH, N.C. — The National Park Service will recommend paying a cash settlement rather than complete the so-called "Road to Nowhere" in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials said today.
The recommendation will be part of a Final Environmental Impact Statement, which is still being written and will likely be published in September, park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said. "Even though the (final statement) will not be released for several months, we wanted to be responsive to the intense public interest in the status of this undertaking," Ditmanson said in a statement.
The unfinished road from Bryson City to Fontana Dam in far western North Carolina’s Swain County was designed to replace one the federal government promised to replace it as long as Congress provided the funding, environmental concerns and high costs halted construction in 1972.
An earlier draft of the environmental impact statement estimated it would cost about $600 million to complete the road, which would run through an undeveloped area of the nation’s most visited national park. Swain County, meanwhile, only requested $52 million to settle the issue.
Conservation | By Jeffrey Hunter | 11:28 AM