GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- Work to repair a landslide that took out a section of a Smoky Mountains highway has begun.
Still, it will likely be around Memorial Day before U.S. 441 will reopen between Newfound Gap and Smokemont.
The National Park Service said Tuesday that an initial contract was awarded to APAC-Atlantic, Harrison Division to build an access road to the slide area. The contractor will also remove slide debris and stabilize the slope.
The second phase includes reconstruction of a 200-foot section of roadway that slid down the mountain on Jan. 16. That work could cost up to $7 million, and the contract is expected to be awarded in mid-February.
Work on the access road began Monday.