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Contact: Adam Prato, (319) 643-7855
WEST BRANCH, IOWA— Construction of new walkways at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site will start on April 12, 2010. The new walkways will replace pavement that is now deteriorated beyond repair and will improve visitors’ access to the picnic shelters and to the Hoovers’ gravesite. Access to the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Cottage, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, Friends Meetinghouse, and the Presidential Library & Museum will not be interrupted during construction on the walkways.
This two-part project is scheduled to be completed by June 26. First, construction contractors will replace the paved walkway between the historic core area and the picnic area. “Most of the walkway will be rebuilt farther away from the creek,” said park superintendent Cheryl A. Schreier, “because we anticipate major reconstruction of the stream to reduce flooding and erosion.” The entire picnic area—including the two shelters, the comfort station, and the small parking lot on the Loop Road near the picnic area—will be closed during construction. Park staff will remove the picnic tables from the shelters to the Village Green on Parkside Drive before construction begins. Restrooms will still be available at the Visitor Center, across from the Village Green, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once the construction in the picnic area is complete, the tables will be moved back and the entire picnic area will be reopened.
The second part of the project will start in May. The contractors will replace the paved sidewalk between the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum and the Gravesite. They will also build new walkway from the Gravesite parking lot up to the Hoovers’ graves. The new walkway will follow a gentler grade to allow handicapped visitors better access to the Gravesite and to a portion of the tallgrass prairie. This new segment of walkway will be paved with pervious concrete. “Pervious concrete reduces storm-water runoff and erosion and will help us manage this watershed,” said park facility manager Mark Denker. The Gravesite parking lot will be closed during construction. The park also may intermittently close the Loop Road and the Gravesite.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space.