UPDATE: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park said the Clingmans Dome Tower will reopen to the public Monday, July 30.

The Clingmans Dome observation tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed for more than half the month of July to complete a final surface overlay along the tower ramp as part of a major rehabilitation project that began last year, according to park officials.

The work was supposed to have been finished earlier in the summer, but the rainy weather delayed it.

Park officials said visitors should be aware there will still be construction equipment along the trail.

Read more from WBIR's website.


PREVIOUS STORY: FORNEYS CREEK, NC (AP) - One of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed on Tuesday for repairs.

The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower on the North Carolina-Tennessee state line is about 6,600 feet (2010 meters) above sea level, and the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.

Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn says the tower will be is closed through July 27.

Visitors will not be able to climb the tower while an overlay is installed on the lower ramp. But the Clingmans Dome parking overlook is open and offers scenic mountaintop views. Also, open are the visitor contact station and store, the trail up to the tower, and all access to the trailheads in the vicinity.

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