History of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Stanley Abbott, the leader of the Landscape architecture project for the Parkway put it best: “The  idea is to fit the Parkway into the mountains as if nature has put it there.” Built in an era of social progress in the American political scene, the Blue Ridge Parkway drew its inspiration from many factors, including a necessity for work opportunity as the main one. The Great Depression left many families without an income, and experts were left jobless. Families living in the mountains were especially struck by these circumstances, and this project finally allowed them a chance for economic growth.

The Beginning

The project was officially under way in late 1935, and the whole idea has been discussed 2 years before this. Everything was approved by the, then president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was pleasantly surprised, after taking a tour around Virginia’s first Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and decided to set this project into motion as well. Hence, the construction of a long motorway, linking the Shenandoah, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park began. Despite of some issues with the Congress, the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway was finally active.

The Construction Progress

Things haven’t always been smooth during the construction, as the sheer scale of the task seemed to be overwhelming at times, and the lack of proper equipment, as well as collision with the stubborn landowners, presented a large obstacle. The harsh weather, and dangerous terrain didn’t contribute either, and the whole project was in danger of being canceled. Luckily, the crew had the right mindset, determination, and were simply inspired by the gorgeous scenery at hand, and there was no way they were messing this up. Battling against all odds, the construction crew managed, with great care, to create a stunning environment without interfering with nature’s own design talent. The construction was advancing solid until World War II began, when it had to be halted due to war requirements. When the war passed, by the end of 1960s almost everything was complete, including the Linn Cove Viaduct, a true wonder of engineering.

The Parkway, in all its might

Everything was devoted into making this parkway into one of the most intriguing tourist spots in the United States, including many bridges, tunnels and tracks. At the Parkway’s disposal are also more than 200 parkings, overlooks, as well as some modernized areas, all built to provide maximum comfort and awe among bike riders. Anyone who visits this place has no choice but to marvel at what man and nature are capable of when working together. Finally, in 1987, the Blue Ridge Parkway, spanning almost 470 miles was introduced, and ever since then, it has been home to millions of visitors each year. The project that was once deemed as a ridiculous undertaking and a waste of money, is now one of the premier, spectacular destinations in the United States, and a chance to fully experience the nation’s best drive.

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