You may already be aware of the recent landslide that occurred via U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on January 16, 2013. If not, the landslide happened near mile marker 22 between Collins Creek and Webb Overlook, on the NC side of the Park, sometime around 9:30 that morning. The landslide is a 200 foot section of this heavily traveled highway, between Gatlinburg, TN & Cherokee, NC, that extends a near 1,000 feet down the slope near Beech Flats Prong.
Here is what the landslide in the Smokies looks like ->
Initial reports from the National Park Service stated that an estimated completion of the repairs would be around May or June. However, breaking news on February 8th suggests that the completion date could be guaranteed sooner than originally expected. According to the National Park Service (NPS) Public Affairs Office, the NPS and EBCI (Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians) have partnered to launch an early completion incentive proposal with the contractor. $18,000 will be awarded for each day the project is completed prior to May 15, 2013, up to a maximum of $500,000. The NPS and EBCI have both agreed to potentially $250,000 each.
But, along with what seems to be lucrative monetary incentives also includes monetary disincentives. For each day after May 15, 2013 that the project is prolonged, $18,000 will be charged to the contractor. This will help insure the project is completed as planned.