From News 10 in Knoxville: Friday was a day of celebration in Monroe County after the Cherohala Skyway reopened following weeks of repairs. &nb
From News 10 in Knoxville: Friday was a day of celebration in Monroe County after the Cherohala Skyway reopened following weeks of repairs.
The roadway closed due to damage from floods in mid-August. The popular corridor took drivers between Tellico Plains and through the North Carolina line. It winds through forests known for incredible views and stunning wilderness.
In mid-August, storms dumped around 23,000 cubic feet per second of water into the area, which normally has less than 1,000 cubic feet per second of water. Crews with the Tennessee Department of Transportation helped repair the road, and rangers with the Cherokee National Forest said reopening the road was crucial for the community.
“We were looking at a closure that lasted a total of 34 days. In the general scheme of infrastructure repair, that is amazing,” said Christopher Joyner, Public Affairs Officer for the Cherokee National Forest.
Drivers and motorcyclists who take the road for work and leisure were both happy to see it reopen.
“It’s always beautiful to be a motorcyclist. That’s right. But right now is the amazing time of the year,” said Rodney Wallace.
Fellow riders Trina and Michael Dale say riding down the road has never been better.
“It is amazing. It’s been a beautiful day. The weather’s been great. And the road is smooth. It’s been a really good day,” Trina said.
Wallace also added as traffic picks back up, safety should be top of mind for everyone.
“You just slow down, take your time, pay attention, and don’t kill yourself,” Wallace said.
“Be safe around others and have a good time, you’ll be alright,” said Chaz Wallace, Rodney’s son.
Forest rangers also said the return of the road could not have come at a better time — when fall starts setting into East Tennessee and the leaves of the trees start to change hues.
“Check out things. The leaves are starting to see a little bit of movement in the color. The water is great. The temperature is great. This is a great time to be in the forest,” said Joyner.
Rangers also said they have been able to reopen the Indian boundary campground since the flooding.