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Author Topic: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP  (Read 2006 times)

usends

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US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« on: February 11, 2020, 10:00:33 PM »

Over the years there has been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere about the fact that US routes are not always signposted within National Park boundaries.  I don't know if the following is common knowledge or not, but I was not aware until recently that historically US 441 was signed through the Park.  The route's extension into Tennessee happened in 1952, and for the next 19 years US 441 was posted as a normal through route.  It was at their Nov. 1970 meeting that AASHO approved a request from the National Park Service to remove the 441 signs, and the explicit purpose was to ban commercial truck traffic through the Park.  (For a precedent they cited Yellowstone NP, where US route signs had either already been removed, or else they had never existed there.)  I've added a copy of the AASHO agenda item to this page.
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Mapmikey

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 10:45:27 PM »

Here is a 1965 NPS photo showing US 441 posted at the Sugarlands Visitor Center

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 04:02:21 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 09:01:27 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 05:31:03 AM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 07:57:33 AM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 
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Rothman

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 08:36:35 AM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap.
Having been on both, US 129 would be a lot worse for a trucker than US 441.
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 09:21:34 AM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap.
Having been on both, US 129 would be a lot worse for a trucker than US 441.

Both are equally bad.
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 09:22:51 AM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 

Yep, and, they don't use them, go figure.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 12:42:22 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 

Yep, and, they don't use them, go figure.

Out west or Newfound Gap?   Iíve seen truckers get up the single lane and at times 10 foot Kaiser Pass Road.  Even places like Ebbetts Pass see occasional truck use due to the ranches.  Newfound Gap is a cake walk compared to those two roads, I can real off a list of about a dozen single lane dirt Forest Service Roads in Sierra National Forest that get full lengths trucks on them. 
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 02:01:52 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 

Yep, and, they don't use them, go figure.

Out west or Newfound Gap?   Iíve seen truckers get up the single lane and at times 10 foot Kaiser Pass Road.  Even places like Ebbetts Pass see occasional truck use due to the ranches.  Newfound Gap is a cake walk compared to those two roads, I can real off a list of about a dozen single lane dirt Forest Service Roads in Sierra National Forest that get full lengths trucks on them. 

And I've seen Jeeps climb sheer cliff faces but, doesn't mean it's practical or smart.  For a commercial trucker to use 441, banned, or the Dragon, 129, banned from the NC side is beyond stupid and reckless, it negligent.

Here's a link to trucks on the Dragon, yeah, crossing the centerline is soooo safe for the motoring public.  Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

https://tailofthedragon.com/trucks-on-the-dragon/
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 02:19:52 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 

Yep, and, they don't use them, go figure.

Out west or Newfound Gap?   Iíve seen truckers get up the single lane and at times 10 foot Kaiser Pass Road.  Even places like Ebbetts Pass see occasional truck use due to the ranches.  Newfound Gap is a cake walk compared to those two roads, I can real off a list of about a dozen single lane dirt Forest Service Roads in Sierra National Forest that get full lengths trucks on them. 

And I've seen Jeeps climb sheer cliff faces but, doesn't mean it's practical or smart.  For a commercial trucker to use 441, banned, or the Dragon, 129, banned from the NC side is beyond stupid and reckless, it negligent.

Here's a link to trucks on the Dragon, yeah, crossing the centerline is soooo safe for the motoring public.  Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

https://tailofthedragon.com/trucks-on-the-dragon/

But your original assertion wasnít that it couldnít be done over Newfound Gap.  I never said it was a good idea nor should be done outside of a rare exception.  Even the roads I cited arenít traveled unless it is absolutely necessary, most of the time there is a spotter involved.  Now that said Iíve heard many a nightmare story about truckers following early GPS technology to The Dragon because the calculations were based off simply road restrictions.  If I recall correctly it wasnít until recently that the speed limit over the The Dragon lowered to 35 MPH. 
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 02:40:29 PM »

Interesting. I can't imagine semis trying to go over that road.

Why not?  US 441 is way more gentle than US 129, truckers still on occasion try the latter. 

LOL!!!  Ah no, the corkscrew alone makes 441 worse than the Dragon, nevermind the width of 441 near Newfound Gap.  Don't believe me Bronze, try towing something from Gatlinburg to Cherokee or reverse, recommend wearing Depends though, you'll need them.

Youíre aware one lane roads with 15% grades are the norm for me out west?  Iíve seen some pretty amazing things done one way worse roads by truckers than Newfound Gap. 

Yep, and, they don't use them, go figure.

Out west or Newfound Gap?   Iíve seen truckers get up the single lane and at times 10 foot Kaiser Pass Road.  Even places like Ebbetts Pass see occasional truck use due to the ranches.  Newfound Gap is a cake walk compared to those two roads, I can real off a list of about a dozen single lane dirt Forest Service Roads in Sierra National Forest that get full lengths trucks on them. 

And I've seen Jeeps climb sheer cliff faces but, doesn't mean it's practical or smart.  For a commercial trucker to use 441, banned, or the Dragon, 129, banned from the NC side is beyond stupid and reckless, it negligent.

Here's a link to trucks on the Dragon, yeah, crossing the centerline is soooo safe for the motoring public.  Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

https://tailofthedragon.com/trucks-on-the-dragon/

But your original assertion wasnít that it couldnít be done over Newfound Gap.  I never said it was a good idea nor should be done outside of a rare exception.  Even the roads I cited arenít traveled unless it is absolutely necessary, most of the time there is a spotter involved.  Now that said Iíve heard many a nightmare story about truckers following early GPS technology to The Dragon because the calculations were based off simply road restrictions.  If I recall correctly it wasnít until recently that the speed limit over the The Dragon lowered to 35 MPH. 

Point is that is cannot be done, you cannot close a lane to allow a truck, they'd have to cross the centerline on the hairpin on the NC side, the corkscrew on the TN side, the height for the under/overpass of corkscrew is not tall enough for standard truck unless you drive straight down the middle of the road.  How is it legal?  It's not.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2020, 03:25:41 PM »

So if the National Park Service had a need for a heavy duty truck to deliver something somewhere on Newfound Gap Road they couldnít simply utilize their own Park Service Police to manage traffic control?  Getting a truck across Newfound Gap would be a fairly straight forward challenge for a distribution company and even a law enforcement agency in managing the traffic flow.  I would be curious to see if exceptions have been made to the truck prohibition at the behest of the Park Service. 

Regarding the height over the loop, in other National Parks usually the trucks do utilize the center of the tunnels.  The Mount Carmel Tunnel in Zion National Park becomes one-way once an oversized vehicle enters, it is even managed with attendants during busy times of year.  The trucks heading to Yosemite use the Wawona Road and Tunnel which is just as curvy if not more so than Newfound Gap Road.  At times the trucks have to travel the center line of the Wawona Tunnel to get through. 

Maybe itís just a western States thing but most of the mountain roads on this side of the country donít outright prohibit trucks of any length.  California has a ton of ďnot recommended over 30 feet highwaysĒ but that rarely even stops longer loads.  Most rural mountain roads in the southwest donít even have a centerline which allows traffic (including trucks) to use the full roadway.  I just donít see Newfound Gap or really any signed highway that I can think of on the east coast to be anywhere near as difficult to process a truck through compared to what is west of the Rockies.   
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goobnav

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Re: US 441 was once signposted through Great Smoky Mountains NP
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2020, 05:08:10 PM »

So if the National Park Service had a need for a heavy duty truck to deliver something somewhere on Newfound Gap Road they couldnít simply utilize their own Park Service Police to manage traffic control?  Getting a truck across Newfound Gap would be a fairly straight forward challenge for a distribution company and even a law enforcement agency in managing the traffic flow.  I would be curious to see if exceptions have been made to the truck prohibition at the behest of the Park Service. 

Regarding the height over the loop, in other National Parks usually the trucks do utilize the center of the tunnels.  The Mount Carmel Tunnel in Zion National Park becomes one-way once an oversized vehicle enters, it is even managed with attendants during busy times of year.  The trucks heading to Yosemite use the Wawona Road and Tunnel which is just as curvy if not more so than Newfound Gap Road.  At times the trucks have to travel the center line of the Wawona Tunnel to get through. 

Maybe itís just a western States thing but most of the mountain roads on this side of the country donít outright prohibit trucks of any length.  California has a ton of ďnot recommended over 30 feet highwaysĒ but that rarely even stops longer loads.  Most rural mountain roads in the southwest donít even have a centerline which allows traffic (including trucks) to use the full roadway.  I just donít see Newfound Gap or really any signed highway that I can think of on the east coast to be anywhere near as difficult to process a truck through compared to what is west of the Rockies.   

Seriously, that's a one time event, if ever and, not regular commercial traffic, which is what started this debate.  Regular commercial loads, '53 foot trailers, would not be able to negotiate those turns without traffic control and, having a regular "spotter" to escort is beyond impractical, it's ridiculous.  GSMP is the "most" visited National Park outside of Yellowstone.  The summer traffic, personal vehicles, is beyond capacity, this is coming from a resident of NC, if you start letting the truckers through and the traffic gets worse, LOL, the businesses alone would scream for it to stop.

Yes, there are roads that outright ban trucks with very rare and extremely permitted exceptions, the Blue Ridge Parkway, which ends at 441 near Cherokee, is a perfect example.  Out West, Crater Lake's Rim Drive.   
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