Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened to traffic Monday April 15th, 2013, one month ahead of schedule.
The road was shut down in January, after a massive landslide washed away the land supporting the road.
Crews have been working since then to re-stabilize the land and repair the roadway. Park officials expected the road to reopen by May 15, but it was back open by 10 am on April 15. Crews from contractor Phillips-Jordan worked 24 hours a day in the last few weeks, and finished the paving and striping of the road over the weekend.
The Park Service and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee offered the contractor $18,000 per day for each day of completion prior to May 15, with a maximum of $500,000.
Newfound Gap Road, also known as Highway 441, is the main route to North Carolina through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.