Closed Road in Smokies Reopens Today

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- A road that has been closed for four years in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is reopening today.

Parsons Branch Road is an eight-mile one-way gravel byway. It leads out of Cades Cove to us 129 and it's been closed since flooding in May 2003 severely damaged it.

Smokies manager Dale Ditmanson says the road offers a slow speed "up close and personal" view of the mountains and he's pleased the road is being opened in time for fall foliage viewing.

Ditmanson says crews have made some changes in drainage and stream crossings to make the road less vulnerable to washing out.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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