Two High Country sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are getting big-budget makeovers. 

Work has started to replace the Laurel Fork Bridge in Ashe County. The nearly 550-feet long structure was built in 1939, and parkway officials say it's at the end of its lifetime. 

The project will shut down the bridge area and a detour is expected to be in place for the next two years.

The other High Country project on the parkway involves repaving work for a 75-mile stretch between Grandfather Mountain and Doughton Park.

That work will be staggered over the next three years so that the areas along the way will have continuous access.

Combined, the two parkway projects will cost an estimated $127 million. The federal Great American Outdoors Act is providing funding for the work.

Last year the Blue Ridge Parkway attracted almost 16 million visitors. 

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