Roosevelt Acts to Speed Plans For Opening 'Skyline Drive'

Approves Removal of Highway Gates After Talk With Virginia Senators; Ready in September

(Special To The Times-Dispatch)

HARRISONBURG, Aug. 15--The year-old agitation for the opening of the Skyline Drive from Panorama to Swift Run Gap along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah National Park bounded forward today when President Roosevelt gave his approval for removal of gates on the mountain highway at a conference with Senators Carter Glass and Harry F. Byrd.

The Shenandoah Valley, Inc. and Senator Byrd have been trying to bring about the opening of the scenic mountain highway for months. President Roosevelt motored over the drive a year ago and was so captivated by his trip that he told Senator Byrd he hoped the public would be allowed to enjoy the highway as soon as possible.

Today Senators Byrd and Glass called at the White House and laid the matter of opening the drive before the President. Senator Byrd, in a message to Valley, Inc., officials this afternoon said.

"Senator Glass and I had a conference with the President today and he expressed great surprise that the Skyline Drive had not been opened. He said he favored the opening as promptly as possible and that he would personally take up this matter with Secretary Ickes. I am also communicating what the President said to Secretary Ickes, Mr. MacDonald (in charge of building the road), and Mr. Cammerer (director of National Park Service)."

Senator Byrd has been trying to get the drive opened about the middle of September. It is understood that the contractors, who have been hard-surfacing the road, will complete this work with the exception of laying the oil binder early in September.