Published Feb 11, 2014
The U.S. Forest Service has temporarily closed the back roads leading to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (AT):
Blue Ridge District Ranger Andrew L. Baker has made the decision to close the following Forest Service roads to protect public health and safety: FS Roads 42, 77, 80, 55, 69, 58, 15, 816, and 283.
These closures also affect access to the Springer Mountain Trailhead on the Appalachian Trail and the High Shoals Falls Trailhead in Towns County, GA.
These temporary road closures are necessary due to the impending winter storm which will quickly make these roads treacherous to impassible and has the potential to create numerous emergency incidents that can strain local emergency managers' ability to respond to these remote areas.
Georgia's Department of Transportation (DOT) also issued this travel update that affects all the main roads leading to the vicinity of Springer Mountain:
Looks are deceiving in a winter wonderland especially on bridges. Driving conditions are more could become hazardous quickly on bridges and elevated structures. Georgia DOT maintains 2,100 centerline miles of state routes and interstates in the 21 county Northeast Georgia Region. There are over 750 bridges in the region. On average, drivers cross a bridge every three miles. Before you get on the roads, consider your route, the locations of bridges and the conditions at your destination. Limit travel to emergencies only.
"Please be wary if you must drive today especially when driving on bridges as icing occurs on bridges first. We are starting to get reports of icing on bridges so please slow down, give yourself plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you and use lower gears on your vehicle for additional traction. Currently it is snowing across Northeast Georgia but not sticking to roadways. Crews are plowing snow in higher elevations specifically in the Mountains. We ask you to please stay home and not drive unless it is an emergency," said Bayne Smith, District Engineer for Northeast Georgia.
Georgia DOT - in conjunction with Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and Georgia State Patrol (GSP) - is prepared to respond to two likely winter weather events: one is underway now through approximately Noon, today, and a second likely to begin tonight and continue until perhaps Thursday morning. Both will involve possible snow, freezing rain and ice.
Crews are plowing snow and spreading salt and gravel on these roadways:
Georgia DOT urges travelers to exercise caution and call 511 for updated information on roadway conditions before getting on the road during a winter weather event. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including winter weather closures, reports of icing or other hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Camping Gear, and News
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