There is some good news for those traveling from the north and south to the Smoky Mountains. I-75 is now expected to reopen in time for motorists going on Spring Break.

On February 26, a rock slide forced the closure of northbound and southbound traffic at mile marker 142 in Campbell county.

Now the expected reopening of the southbound lanes is anticipated for March 17 or sooner. The northbound side — according to a spokesperson from TDOT — will reopen one lane for traffic by March 24. The entire project is slated to be complete by April 15.

The detour routes are seeing obvious increases in traffic. Motorists traveling south should expect to add about 40 minutes to their commute, while northbound traffic will add about 45 minutes travel time. These times will vary during various hours, especially at rush hour in the morning and late afternoon.

This is welcome news for us, since we are expecting to travel this stretch of road at the end of this month. We were already planning on an alternate and more scenic route; however I think we will travel our normal drive through I-75, since we are anxious as always to reach our destination in Gatlinburg. Stay tuned for more news and the anticipated report of our next visit.