North Shore Road – Again?

NSR -Road to Nowhere tunnel


Don Hendershot’s column in the Smoky Mountain News this week is full of intrigue, anonymous sources and a big hint of “You’ve heard it here first.” It would make Deep Throat proud.

Don quotes a reliable but anonymous source that the 2010 Omnibus bill expected to be signed in a couple of weeks will contain a settlement for the North Shore Road issue. If you’ve been involved in conservation issues at any time after the year 2000, you’ll remember the proposal to build a road from Bryson City to Fontana to replace a road that was flooded in 1943. That’s when TVA came in to build Fontana Dam for the war effort.

Car on Lake Shore TrailFor a while, my life (and many other outdoor people here) was North Shore Road, 24/7. After the Environmental Impact Statement came out in 2007 saying that there would be a financial settlement with Swain County and no road, most environmentalists moved on. But of course, not the people of Swain County who wanted their financial settlement. The photo on the left was taken on Lake Shore Trail; the car was left when people left the area in 1943 when Fontana Dam was built.

Well, if Don is correct, this issue, the oldest on the Congressional Agenda, may finally be closed. 

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