Photo of the Foothills Parkway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a scenic view of mountains and fall colors.

Foothills Parkway Section 8D/Metcalf Bottoms Newsletter-Fall 2021

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input concerning the proposed construction of the next section of the Foothills Parkway and access improvements between Wears Valley and the Metcalf Bottoms area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A virtual public meeting will be held on October 14 and comments may be submitted through October 31. Additional information about how to attend the virtual public meeting is available under the Meeting Notices tab on this page.

As outlined in the newsletter provided in the link below, the new proposed Foothills Parkway Section 8D would extend the parkway for 9.8 miles from Wears Valley to the Spur near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. This proposed action would provide direct access to one of the primary entrances to the park. In addition, the NPS is seeking comments about developing better access to the Metcalf Bottoms area to address safety concerns along Wear Cove Gap Road, improve the overall visitor experience, and protect park resources. Both these efforts could alleviate existing and future motor vehicle congestion to complement overall visitor access and traffic flow on the Tennessee side of the Park.

You are encouraged to share your observations, concerns, and ideas about the information presented in the newsletter to help the Park focus the planning efforts. The information obtained during this civic engagement period will be used to refine the concepts and alternatives under consideration, identify issues, and ensure the NPS has the information needed to move forward in the process.

After considering input received during this civic engagement period, the Park will refine preliminary alternatives and determine if it is appropriate to move forward with the formal NEPA, National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other environmental compliance processes. The NEPA and NHPA processes will offer additional opportunities for public involvement, including a public scoping period at the beginning of the NEPA process and a public comment period to solicit input about the NEPA document prepared by the Park.
Comment Period: Closed        09/30/2021 - 10/31/2021
Document Content:
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