Plans Move Forward to Rehabilitate the Quarry Visitor Center
Contact: Mary Risser, 970.374.3001
Significant life, health, and safety issues forced the emergency closure of the Quarry Visitor Center in July 2006. Since that time, monument staff has been working hard to get the quarry wall that contains approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones open to the public again.
“As soon as we closed the building, we started taking all the steps needed to protect the fossils and to complete planning so we could begin construction as soon as funds were available,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “By fall of 2008, we had completed the extremely lengthy compliance process. We anticipate completing the construction documents this September.”
Funding has been made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Quarry Visitor Center project is one of nearly 800 projects totaling $750 million that can be completed across the country with funding from the ARRA. All the projects announced by Secretary of the Interior in April 2009 are long-standing priorities of the National Park Service based upon its capital planning process.
The National Park Service will announce the opportunity to bid on the Quarry Visitor Center construction contract at the website www.FedBizOpps.gov this fall. We anticipate awarding the contract in early winter, and ground-breaking may be as early as next spring. Construction is anticipated to take a year and a year and a half; so, the reopening the quarry exhibit and visitor center could be late summer/early fall 2011.
“Every aspect of the monument’s operations has been impacted by the closure of the Quarry Visitor Center,” stated Risser. “This project will implement sustainable green technologies and improve the visitor experience at Dinosaur National Monument. We will once again be able to provide public access to Douglass Quarry and its world renowned Jurassic-era dinosaur fossils.”
“We are grateful that this recovery effort will enable us to accomplish this critical project that will protect our resources and enhance our ability to serve the public,” continued Risser. “Since this project will be contracted out, we anticipate that it will help put money into the local and regional economies.”
Did You Know?
Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, but lizards are still a common sight at Dinosaur National Monument. The small, inquisitive reptiles have endured on Earth for more than 300 million years, far outlasting their giant cousins.