BEECH MOUNTAIN – At the March 10 Beech Mountain Town Council Meeting, the council members unanimously approved a contract bid to pave Buckeye Creek Road at a cost of $685,000. The project will be funded entirely by the town.
This project has been part of the town’s long-term comprehensive plan for over 10 years. The paving should be complete by early this summer.
“This is a huge step for Beech Mountain and will open up many areas to easier access,” stated Beech Mountain Mayor Barry Kaufman. “Our residents and visitors will now have a quicker way to travel to communities on and off the mountain, including the Lake Watauga Recreational Area.”
“Another important consideration for paving this road is that it will provide a second, paved route to enter or exit the mountain in case of an emergency,” said Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Chief and Interim Town Manager Robert “Bob” Pudney. “It also improves the mutual aid for both the town and the Fall Creek Volunteer Fire Department.”
“Paving the two-mile stretch of gravel on Buckeye Creek Road will link the town of Beech Mountain to U.S. 321,” said Kate Gavenus, director of the Beech Mountain Tourist Development Authority. “We are opening up a new corridor for travelers to expand lodging, shopping and recreational activities in the High Country and eastern Tennessee.”
Plans are underway for a community celebration to showcase area merchants, restaurants, hotels and more. Several hiking and biking trails are located off this vital artery including the newly created Buckeye Lake Loop Trail which circles the entire four-mile lake. The new Shane Park Outpost and Campground are also located off this section of road and are due to open in late summer.