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Straight from the Dragon's mouth...

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: 3/24/2010 10:05:52 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Important News from Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon Newsletter
March 24, 2010
On March 15, 2010 a rock slide occurred 2 miles south of Chilhowee Dam on US129 closing both lanes of traffic. On March 19, 2010, traffic was blocked at the North Carolina and Tennessee state line preventing access to 11 miles of US129, commonly known as the Dragon. This road block also prevents access from Parson's Branch Road and the Calderwood Dam area. On March 24, 2010, TNDOT released a reopening date of September 1, 2010.

This road is not only a tourist attraction in itself, but also provides a commuter route for Tennessee and North Carolina residents, visitors, and commercial traffic. The only alternative is US441 through the Smoky Mountain National Park or the Cherohala Skyway. Either of these options present a great inconvenience.

Both the North Carolina and Tennessee areas near US129 rely on tourism as a major source of revenue. This road closure will have a definite impact on the local economy. We encourage all officials to take whatever steps are necessary to expedite the reopening of part or all of this US highway.

Anyone who is interested in expressing their concerns over the temporary closure of US129 should contact these officials:

NC Governor:
Governor Bev Perdue
Governor's Office
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Phone: (919)733-4240
Fax: (919)733-2120
[email protected]


NC US Congressman:
Congressman Heath Shuler
422 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC, 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6401
Fax: (202) 226-6422
[email protected]


NC State Representative:
Senator John Snow
NC Senate
16 W. Jones Street, Room 2111
Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
Phone: (919) 733-5875
Email: [email protected]

TN Governor:
Governor Phil Bredesen
Governor's Office
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001
Phone: 615.741.2001
Fax: 615.532.9711
[email protected]


TN US Congressman:
Congressman John J Duncan JR
2207 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5435
Fax: 202-225-6440
HouseNet Redirect


TN State Representative:
Senator Doug Overbey
4 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243-0208
Phone: 615-741-0981 or
800-449-TENN, ext. 10981
Fax: 615-253-0224
[email protected]


FACEBOOK: We will be updating our FB fan page with any and all new information regarding the US129 rockslide. Become a fan and keep up to date.

OTHER ROADS: We will continue to promote the other great roads in our area, watch our website for more information.



Contact Information

Ron & Nancy Johnson
[email protected]
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, Graham Co, NC
828-479-8400 or toll free 800-768-7129
 

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More disappointing news from the Dragon...

Tail of the Dragon Newsletter
March 24, 2010
Just received a clarification for the TNDOT Public Information Officer regarding the September 1 date. The date is an ESTIMATED date. The contract for clearing the slide will be awarded on Monday (3/29), at that time a more accurate opening date will be posted. TNdot DOES SAY it should take several months to clear the slide. We will post and send another newsletter as soon as we hear updates.

FACEBOOK: We will be updating our FB fan page with any and all new information regarding the US129 rockslide. Become a fan and keep up to date.

OTHER ROADS: We will continue to promote the other great roads in our area, watch our website for more information.

Contact Information

Ron & Nancy Johnson
[email protected]
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, Graham Co, NC
828-479-8400 or toll free 800-768-7129
 

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This is being reported on dealsgap.com:

Wednesday March 24

WARNING FALSE INFORMATION BEING PUT OUT BY TDOT AND BEING REPORTED ON OTHER WEB SITES. Ok folks TDOT has confirmed that 1 Sep is NOT I say again NOT the expected reopen date for The Dragon. There twitter page is linked directly to there electronic message system for the highway. They have to put a date on it for the system to work so they just picked that one. I talked with them and they do not have a date. The contract will be awarded on Monday and that is when the Officale time schedual will be set. Again, 1 Sep is misinformation. I will post up the real info as soon as TDOT calls me.



Brad
 

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I'm a little concerned also but looking at our itinerary, the Dragon is only a small portion of our run on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. We can easily plan around it.

What are some other opinions? We still have 2 months to go, let's see what the engineers find. The pressure will be on them with the amount of tourist dollars at stake.

So now what? Do we go anyway and just find some other roads?
 

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I vote for changing the itinerary a bit and enjoying some of the other roads in the area. It sure beats driving around in Cincinnati for thrills. Well, maybe not the Over the Rhine area. The only problem is I had to give up my flack vest many years ago.
 

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We need to wait and see how this develops.

I would have to think long and hard about this trip if there was no chance to drive any part of the Dragon. It is after all driving this stretch of Rt 129 that is the rational for the whole endeavor.
 

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Just read on the Dragon website that they are trying to get the DOT to open the part of rt 129 that is not affected by the rock slide. Sounds like some part of 129 could be driven and then a turn around or something. That would be fine with me. I just want to experience that fabled road, fast or slow, I don't care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I still want to go, but I think it would be more fun if we have a large group no matter what roads we drive. I've never been in that area, so it's all going to be new to me.

Does anyone think I caused the rockslide by making a non-refundable reservation in Christiansburg?
 

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:hilarious:

I still want to go, but I think it would be more fun if we have a large group no matter what roads we drive. I've never been in that area, so it's all going to be new to me.

Does anyone think I caused the rockslide by making a non-refundable reservation in Christiansburg?
 

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Re: Dragon & BRP news

Latest from the Dragon...

Tail of the Dragon Newsletter
March 30, 2010
The emergency contract has been awarded to repair the US129 rock slide. Pacific Blasting will begin work on April 5. TDOT has an estimated completion date of July 31 with an incentive payment to the contractor if work is completed before July 1. More from TDOT here...

North Carolina and Tennessee politicians and bureaucrats are working together trying to reopen the Dragon from the NC/TN state line to the slide area, which would incorporate the entire 11 mile section of the Dragon. We will let you know if an agreement is reached.

FACEBOOK: We will be updating our FB fan page with any and all new information regarding the US129 rock slide. Become a fan and keep up to date.

OTHER ROADS: We will continue to promote the other great roads in our area, you can read about all the area two lane twisties here.

Click Map for printable PDF image of area Two Lane Twisties (in red) [Map with links in separate email from Big Guy]

Contact Information

Ron & Nancy Johnson
[email protected]
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, Graham Co, NC
828-479-8400 or toll free 800-768-7129
 

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Re: Dragon & BRP news

Latest from the Dragon...

Tail of the Dragon Newsletter
March 30, 2010
The emergency contract has been awarded to repair the US129 rock slide. Pacific Blasting will begin work on April 5. TDOT has an estimated completion date of July 31 with an incentive payment to the contractor if work is completed before July 1. More from TDOT here...

North Carolina and Tennessee politicians and bureaucrats are working together trying to reopen the Dragon from the NC/TN state line to the slide area, which would incorporate the entire 11 mile section of the Dragon. We will let you know if an agreement is reached.

FACEBOOK: We will be updating our FB fan page with any and all new information regarding the US129 rock slide. Become a fan and keep up to date.

OTHER ROADS: We will continue to promote the other great roads in our area, you can read about all the area two lane twisties here.

Click Map for printable PDF image of area Two Lane Twisties (in red) [Map with links in separate email from Big Guy]

Contact Information

Ron & Nancy Johnson
[email protected]
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, Graham Co, NC
828-479-8400 or toll free 800-768-7129
Here is the link to the map from the Tail of the Dragon website. Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, Graham Co, NC
 

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This from the Deals Gap web site:

Good morning and a happy good friday to everyone. Things contiue to move forward on getting the Dragon reopened by Wen next week. Waiting now for all the paperwork to be signed so the barricade can be moved.

Key things to remember:

1- It will not be one way traffic, you have to turn around and come back to the resort.

2- Two way traffic will mean crossing the double yellow puts you at risk as well as other motorcycle riders. Will resault in serious injury or a fatality.

3- THP will patrol ever day until the slide is gone, this is for our protection NOT I say again NOT to write endless tickets and use it as a revinue builder.

Easy stuff gang, we can have the Dragon for once without semi traffic on it. No word yet when the road will be open for thru traffic that will be up to the rock slide when they bring it down. But just at $2 million for the winning contract I do not see it as taking long or they will be losing money fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hit the parkway for a little while this weekend south of the national park in VA. Lots of work going on repairing guardrails and clearing small fallen rocks. My vacation slip is signed. I think I'm ready, even if the dragon is not.
 
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