GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Editor's note: The above video is from July 3.
Little Round Top, one of the most iconic locations in the Gettysburg National Military Park battlefield, will close Tuesday as workers begin an 18-month rehabilitation project, the U.S. National Park Service announced.
The $13 million project is designed to address overwhelmed parking areas, poor accessibility, and related safety hazards, "significant" erosion, and degraded vegetation at Little Round Top, the NPS said.
"The scope of the project will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up this segment of the battlefield landscape," NPS said in a statement. "This project will also enhance the visitor experience with improved interpretive signage, new accessible trail alignments, and gathering areas. These improvements will allow visitors to better immerse themselves into the historic landscape that is essential to understanding the three-day Battle of Gettysburg."
The closure affects the entire area around Little Round Top, NPS said. South Confederate Avenue (just past the Picnic Area exit), Sykes Avenue, Warren Avenue, and Wright Avenue will be closed to all automobiles during the project, and all monuments in the area, including the 20th Maine monument, will be inaccessible.
South Confederate Avenue will remain open for visitors to walk, hike, and ride their bikes from the Picnic Area to near the four-way intersection of South Confederate Avenue, Warren Avenue, Sykes Avenue, and Wright Avenue according to NPS.
All walking trails in this area will also remain open, NPS said.
New auto tour maps, which will include a detour around the roads closed by the project, will be distributed at the National Museum and Visitors Center and throughout the Gettysburg area. The detour map is also available online.
While the Little Round Top area is closed, there is still a virtual tour of the area available online and viewable below.
A similar rehabilitation project that closed the Devil's Den area of the battlefield in March is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, though a full or partial re-opening of the area will be tied to social trail re-vegetation results, NPS said.