Phase I Construction of Grand Canyon's South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan Begins
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. – Construction began this week on visitor improvements outlined in Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan. The improvements will address significant parking shortages which are causing resource degradation issues, safety risks due to pedestrian/vehicular conflicts at and around Mather Point, and difficulty accessing the Grand Canyon Visitor Center (Visitor Center) located at Canyon View Information Plaza (CVIP).
The improvements in the CVIP and Mather Point areas will be completed in two phases. Phase I will primarily focus on parking improvements in the CVIP area and Phase II, which will begin following completion of Phase I, will focus on improvements in the Mather Point area.
Construction on Phase I began this week and is expected to be completed by November 2009. Phase I improvements include:
During the entire construction project, visitors will continue to have access to the Mather Point area, the park’s Visitor Center, and the Grand Canyon Association’s Books and More bookstore at CVIP. The park’s accessible shuttle bus system will continue to stop at CVIP and parking will continue to be available in the CVIP area for commercial tour buses. Intermittent traffic delays and some periodic vehicular and pedestrian detours can be expected during construction. Alternate routes and parking locations will be signed accordingly; and the National Park Service will make every effort to provide advance notice of traffic changes to lessen any impacts to visitors.
In order to minimize construction impacts, Phase I construction will be completed in two stages. Stage 1 construction began this week and is expected to be completed by August 2009. Stage 1 will include the realignment of the South Entrance Road, the construction of the commercial tour bus parking lot and the construction of the first of three private vehicle parking lots. (To see 1st Stage map, click on link below).
During Stage 1 construction:
Stage 2 construction is expected to begin in August 2009 and to be completed in November 2009. (To see 2nd Stage map, click on link below). During Stage 2 construction:
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Park Service completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed in May 2008. Funding for this project is being made available through entrance fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation and Enhancement Act.
Up-to-date information on this project will be posted on the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/cvip09.htm. For more information about the project, you may also call Vicky Stinson, Project Manager at 928-774-3026 or Shannan Marcak, Public Affairs Specialist at 928-638-7958.
Did You Know?
In Grand Canyon,one of the broad, sandy areas on the north bank of the Colorado River is Unkar Delta, composed of rock debris carried from the North Rim by Unkar Creek. Prehistoric Pueblo people occupied numerous sites on Unkar Delta and along Unkar Creek for about 350 years (A.D. 850 to A.D. 1200)