Construction along the missing link on the Foothills Parkway and a Google Earth aerial image of the ridge. Congress au-thorized the Foothills Parkway as a sce-nic parkway on February 22, 1944. This area's rugged terrain caused the project to falter in the 1960s. The Foothills Parkway is one for the history books: a federal road project that has remained incomplete for nearly 60 years. Show Hide 0 comments. The Foothills Parkway was dreamed up by Congress way back in 1944. Fifty-two years after construction first began, the last section of the Foothills Parkway at Great Smoky Mountains National Park was finally completed. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to walk along the long-awaited new section of the Foothills Parkway, the "Missing Link." Required fields are marked * … The "Missing Link" provides two pull-offs for motorists but the National Park wants to remind you that this is a roadway and not a walkway. This section is known as the "Missing Link" of the Foothills Parkway. Sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking along this route. Now thanks to a mix of engineering and funding, this “missing link” is finished and people now have access to the entire stretch between Wears Valley (near Pigeon Forge) and Walland (near Townsend). You will discover a climbing tower which provides a marvelous aerial view of the Smoky Mountains and of nearby Maryville, TN. Of the seven Congressionally Mandated Parkways, the Foothills Parkway is the only remaining New record set for visitation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after new section of Foothills Parkway, known as the "Missing Link," opened. There are spectacular views of different things at different elevations. The $24.8-million Foothills Parkway Bridge No. Decades in the making, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials plan to open the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, better known as "the Missing Link". The road was planned as a scenic drive along the Great Smoky Mountains from Chilhowee, TN to Interstate 40 east of Cosby, TN. Foothills Parkway Missing Link JoPhoto. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials plan to open the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, Tennessee, on Saturday, November 10. The Missing Link of the Foothills Parkway is a 1.65 mile stretch of road between Walland and Wears Valley. It’s an extension of the Foothills Pkwy West section that’s been there for a long time, and goes 16 miles from near Walland to near Wears Valley. Eastern Tennessee’s unfinished dream of a scenic parkway west of the Smokies gained 16 more miles last year when a “missing link” section opened connecting Wears Valley to the existing western section, which runs down to Chilhowee and the end of the Dragon on U.S. 219. That was the section, which we drove. Your email is never published or shared. Foothills Parkway: Missing link of Foothills Parkway - See 556 traveler reviews, 532 candid photos, and great deals for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN, at Tripadvisor. Of the seven Congressionally Mandated Parkways, the Foothills Parkway is the only remaining parkway yet to be completed. The latest addition, known as The Missing Link, was completed at the end of 2018. A Step Closer to Completing the “Missing Link” of the Foothills Parkway from Walland to Wears Valley, Tennessee patriotgetaways June 25, 2013 All Posts , Culture 0 comments Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrated the completion of Bridge 2 on the Foothills Parkway near Wears Valley, TN with a ribbon cutting event on Monday, June 24. The piece of the Foothills Parkway known as the “Missing Link” is now completed. After a short ride on US 74 riders will ride the northern end of the Moonshiner 28 – Fontana Dam is just a short detour off NC 28 - restrooms are available at the vsitor center. The Parkway has many scenic views of mountain vistas and expansive valleys. A ribbon is cut to officially open the Foothills Parkway’s “Missing Link” early Nov. 9. Another building push in the 1980s completed sections of the parkway in Wears Valley, resulting in "The Missing Link" between the two sections of completed road. The nearly $25 million project will add an 800-foot-long bridge soaring across the park's landscape to connect the eastern end of the unfinished Wears Valley stretch of parkway to the Walland segment of the parkway, park officials said. Foothills Parkway Congress authorized the Foothills Parkway in 1944 as a scenic parkway that would provide magnificent views into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from a road corridor that was outside the Park. Lane Construction Company of Charlotte, N.C. recently completed a seven-year project to design and build five bridges at a cost of $48.5 million. SUBSCRIBE NOW $3 for 3 months. The Foothills Parkway. “The Missing Link” is the newest addition to the Foothills Parkway offering visitors new views of the Smoky Mountains that opened in December 2018. The “Missing Link” of the Foothills Parkway will open on November, 10, 2018. The public will be able to drive the entire 16-mile roadway beginning Saturday, November 10 for the first time since construction began in 1966, including the 1.65 mile "Missing Link". Foothills Parkway was never completed because of the engineering difficulties involved in spanning river gorges and ravines that lace the mountains. Foothills Parkways ends at … I absolutely LOVE shooting up at The Missing Link on Foothills Parkway. The Foothills Parkway has been under construction for over 75 years, making it Tennessee’s oldest unfinished highway project. While it happened several months ago at the tail-end of 2018, we’d like to announce for anyone that missed it that the “Missing Link” of the Foothills parkway connecting Walland to Wears Valley is complete and open to the public! SUBSCRIBE NOW $3 for 3 months. The “Missing Link,” a 17 mile stretch from Walland, TN to Wears Valley, is the latest addition to the Parkway. For decades a stretch of the Foothills Parkway about a mile and a half long remained incomplete, leaving about 16 miles of the parkway inaccessible to the public. The Foothills Parkway has been under construction since 1944, but has been stalled numerous times for funding, making it the oldest unfinished highway project in Tennessee. If you only have a day or so to take in the views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Foothills Parkway is a must see. Even if you don’t have a session there, you should definitely make that drive! The “Missing Link” on the Foothills Parkway finally opening to the public and people say it’s everything they’ve hoped it would be. The Missing Link of the Foothills Parkway will be a very memorable experience for many visitors and locals over the coming years. A project more than 50 years in the making is now done, and will be open to the public on Saturday. The Foothills Parkway is a national parkway which traverses the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States.The 72.1-mile (114 km) parkway will connect U.S. Route 129 (U.S. 129) along the Little Tennessee River in the west with Interstate 40 (I-40) along the Pigeon River in the east. Completion of the “missing link” and the fi nal paving project is possible by the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. At the point of the intersection of Foothills Parkway and US Hwy 321 (Lamar Alexander Parkway), one can go south, on the original section down to Chilhowee and Hwys 129/115, at Chilhowee Lake, or this new section, basically east, to Wears Valley. Side note: I almost hit a cub on my way up. It is by far one of the most amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains, and one of the most beautiful drives. Foothills Parkway History. 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