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Contact: Carl Zimmerman, 410-629-6071
Berlin, Maryland – Superintendent Trish Kicklighter today announced that construction is underway on a new Visitor Contact Station in the Maryland District of Assateague Island National Seashore. The new facility will replace the dilapidated and undersized structure that has served as the ranger station and campground office since the late 1960s.
"We’ve been waiting to replace the old Station for a long time now and are very pleased to finally have the project under way" said Kicklighter. A portion of the old building was originally built on the island as a private residence before the National Seashore was created." The new facility will greatly enhance our ability to serve the public as well as improving working conditions for park staff."
The new Visitor Contact Station is being constructed west of Bayberry Drive, adjacent to the existing entrance booths. Kicklighter notes that "Whenever we replace facilities on the Island, we’re trying to move them away from the ocean if at all possible. With accelerating rates of sea level rise, the farther west our facilities are located the longer they will last."
Ultimately, Bayberry Drive will be reconfigured at the site of the new facility to expand the number of traffic lanes leading up to the entrance booths. The changes are expected to ease the chronic congestion that occurs during the busy summer months.
Although the new Station will be largely completed by mid- June, the challenge of moving staff and operations during peak season will delay its opening until the end of the summer. The 3,300 square foot modular building was manufactured in Pennsylvania by Modular Genius, Inc. The project was made possible through the use of entrance and camping fees collected at the National Seashore.
For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/asis