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Project to construct new RV sites on North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park to begin soon

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Date: June 14, 2010
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Phil Fessler, 928-638-7362

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A design/build project to construct 6 new RV sites and associated infrastructure will begin soon in the developed area on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The project will also include the demolition of 6 external frame cabins, each approximately 300 square feet in size, while formalizing the parking and walkways around the cabins.

The project will expand the National Park Service (NPS) employee trailer court and upgrade the existing infrastructure, including utilities, and access roads. The utilities will be sized to allow for future expansion when funding is available. Currently, there is a shortage of employee housing within the national park which creates crowded conditions and overextends utilities and other infrastructure. Additionally, the lack of housing makes it difficult for the NPS to recruit seasonal employees or provide temporary housing for volunteers willing to provide valuable assistance to the NPS. The additional RV sites will provide housing opportunities for seasonal employees and their families and has the potential to considerably increase the number of volunteers that the park can accommodate.

Six external frame cabins will also be demolished as part of this project. The cabins are part of a complex that consists of 26 extant residential cabins, laundry facility and shower building that was constructed in 1929. Fifteen cabins within the complex have been rehabilitated over the past seven years by the NPS, and new electrical, water and sewer infrastructure has been installed. Five additional cabins and the shower building are scheduled to be rehabilitated in the near future. The six cabins to be demolished have deteriorated beyond repair. This project will also formalize the site around the cabins by adding gravel parking and walkways.

A design/build contract for approximately $292,000 has been awarded to Ridgway Valley Enterprises, LLC of Montrose, Colorado. Design is in process, and construction should start on site in July. Funds for the project were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Not only will this project add much needed seasonal employee housing on the North Rim, it will create additional jobs in the south west.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior (Interior). Of that amount, the NPS received $750 million – approximately 10 million of which was directed to Grand Canyon National Park.

These ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President’s plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving American’s timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Grand Canyon projects can also be followed on www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/arra.htm. Chris Henderson, Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, continues to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

For additional information on this project, please call Phil Fessler, Project Manager at 928-638-7362 or Maureen Oltrogge, Public Affairs Officer at 928-638-7779.

Did You Know?

NEVER APPROACH WILD ANIMALS

The elk found within Grand Canyon National Park weigh as much as 1,000 pounds (450 kg), and have been known to injure people who approach them. Never approach wild animals. It is dangerous, and illegal, to feed the wild animals in a national park. Violators will be fined.