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Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - Chip seal projects are scheduled to begin at Grand Canyon National Park on both the South and North Rims. The project is being managed by, and funded through the Federal Lands Highway Program using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The primary purpose of the project is to provide pavement preservation for most paved surfaces within the park and is expected to be completed sometime between late August and early October 2010 - depending on summer monsoonal patterns and temperatures which will dictate when crews apply chip sealing.
Not only will this project greatly improve the condition of Grand Canyon's roadways and other paved areas, it will create additional jobs in the southwest.
A contract for approximately $4.5 million has been awarded to Fann Contracting from Prescott, Arizona for work on the South Rim that includes micro (sealing process that extends the life of a road) and chip seal on main roadways, campgrounds, residential areas, parking lots (excluding newly constructed parking lots at Grand Canyon Visitor Center), and other adjacent paved areas.
The South Rim project will begin Thursday, June 17 with the patching of roadways and parking areas between Hermits Rest and Desert View. Patching will be followed with crack seal work that should begin around June 28 and last about two weeks. Once that work is completed the contractor will then micro seal roadways and parking areas, then finish up with chip seal and striping.
Construction will primarily occur Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.
Work in heavy traffic areas will be completed during the night once shuttle bus operations cease for the evening. Nighttime construction is expected to occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. The contractor will make every effort to reduce noise around hotels and residential areas during early morning and nighttime operations.
Some sweeping activities may occur on Saturdays; but no work will occur from noon on Friday, July 2nd through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6th to mitigate impacts to visitors during the holiday weekend.
Signs will be posted in construction areas notifying visitors and residents of any short-term or pending closures. Flaggers and pilot cars will also be used in areas where work is underway to direct or move vehicles through project areas. Maximum delays of 15 minutes on South Rim roadways can be expected.
Those with plans for extended backcountry stays are encouraged to check the park's construction Web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/const.htm for project scheduling and any short-term parking closures and delays. Park staff at the Backcountry Information Center, visitor centers and contact stations will also be available to offer advice and recommendations for longer-term parking options.
Visitors to the South Rim Village area are encouraged to park in Tusayan and ride the free shuttle bus into and around the park. Entrance passes can be purchased at many of the businesses in Tusayan and will be needed prior to boarding a bus. Other park passes, including Golden Age Passports, Golden Eagle Passports, America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass, etc., as always, will also be accepted.
Visitors that prefer to drive into the park are encouraged to park their cars at the Visitor Center and take advantage of the free shuttle system. Those that park in other parking areas throughout the park, including lodging areas, should look for, and follow signs that will be posted in areas that are currently undergoing construction work. Visitors might also enjoy riding a bicycle on one of the Greenway Trail's where bikes are allowed, or by enjoying the nice summer temperatures and walking from place to place. For bike rentals - look for Bright Angel Bicycles near the park's primary visitor center.
Community members are encouraged to walk, bike or utilize the free shuttle bus system in getting through the park this summer.
A contract for approximately $1.5 million was also awarded to Intermountain Slurry Seal from Salt Lake City, Utah for work on the North Rim that includes micro/chip seal on main roadways, parking lots, campground, residential areas and other adjacent paved areas.
This project will begin on Monday, June 21, with the patching of roadways and parking areas, followed by crack seal work, micro sealing, chip sealing and striping.
As on the South Rim, signs will be posted in construction areas on the North Rim notifying visitors and residents of any short-term or pending closures. Additionally, flaggers and pilot cars will be used in areas where work is underway to direct or move vehicles through project areas. Maximum delays on North Rim roadways of 15 minutes can be expected.
Project work will primarily occur between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Sweeping activities may take place on Saturdays, but no work will take place between noon on Friday, July 2nd through 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 6.
North Rim visitors are encouraged to follow instructions provided by flaggers and those in pilot cars and to look for signing about temporary, short-term parking lot closures. North Rim residents are encouraged to walk and bike to work whenever possible.
Park staff in the North Rim Backcountry Information Center and visitor center will also be available to provide information about construction areas, delays and short-term parking lot closures. Visitors to the North Rim are also encouraged to check project scheduling on the above link for construction updates.
The National Park Service, Federal Highway Administration, contractors and subcontractors are all committed to reducing impacts to visitors and community members. We apologize for any inconvenience this project may have on our visitors and community members. We will make every effort to post updates on the park's Web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/const.htm and to schedule work to best accommodate traffic flow, maintain a quality visit for all visitors to the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon, and to reduce wait times to a minimum for all users.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last 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 nation 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.