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SECRETARY SALAZAR ANNOUNCES $16.7 MILLION OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY FUNDING FOR LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA IN NEVADA

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Date: November 11, 2009
Contact: Andrew S. Munoz

**PHOTOS: http://www.flickr.com/lakemeadnra

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that work will begin on a $16.7 million road construction project on National Park Service lands in Southern Nevada under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Las Vegas Paving Corporation of Las Vegas will be performing the work set to begin this month under a contract administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

“This project will complete improvements to the 60-mile long Lakeshore Road-Northshore Road corridor 4-years ahead of schedule. We are very pleased that visitors to the northern area of the park will have better and
safer road access,” said Superintendent Bill Dickinson of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The project will include roadway widening, spot safety repairs, and re-paving 17.5 miles of road from Redstone to the Overton boundary line.

Gary Strike, project manager with the Federal Highway Administration says that his agency “looks forward to starting work on this project.  It will complete improvements to the route that have been ongoing since the
1980’s.”

Las Vegas Paving Corporation project manager Darren Keser says his company is extremely pleased to have been awarded the contract.

“We have worked in the National Parks in the past and know exactly how sensitive these areas are and what the Parks mean to the people so we are extremely happy to continue our working relationship with the National Park
Service and the Federal Highway Administration,” says Keser.

Park officials have been working with tourism leaders in the surrounding communities and the Nevada State Commission on Tourism to promote the corridor.

"We know that visits to Lake Mead National Recreation Area add to the total Las Vegas visitor experience. A future plan for this tourism corridor is to apply for state scenic byway designation. The improvements to the road will be a key aesthetic and safety components to the designation,” said Connie
Mancillas of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

The ARRA funds represent 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 the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America'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 the Department’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project onhttp://www.recovery.gov and onhttp://www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary
Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." -- John Muir