NPS to Make Accessibility Improvements at Grandview Area of New River Gorge National River

playground plans

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News Release Date: April 11, 2017

Contact: Julena Campbell, 304-465-6523

Grandview, WV – The National Park Service (NPS) has received funds to install accessible walkways and playground equipment at two locations at the Grandview area of New River Gorge National River (NR). Improvements will be made to both the main playground area and the playground between Shelters # 3 and # 4.
The new walkways will meet current accessibility standards and provide easier movement between the parking lots, restrooms, and playgrounds. The playgrounds will be resurfaced with a new poured-in-place rubber surface around the equipment and wood fiber materials will be used to fill in other areas to help reduce risks from falls and allow people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to move more freely around the sites. The updated equipment will include a small climbing wall in addition to typical playground features such as swing sets and sliding boards. Later this summer, a new path will be installed from Shelter # 3 to the restroom and connect to the new playground at that location.
While the work is being completed at Grandview, temporary closures will be in place to ensure visitor and contractor safety. On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, contractors will begin the project by installing new accessible concrete pathways at both the main playground, as well as around the playground and restrooms at Shelter # 3. While the pathways are being installed, the current playgrounds and restrooms will remain open during most of the construction. However, visitors should expect to see ground disturbance, staged equipment, concrete trucks, and crews working in the area, and are asked to stay alert and keep out of work areas. This part of the project is expected to take several weeks.
Starting on May 4, 2017, the main playground area will be closed while the old playground is dismantled and the new accessible playground equipment is installed. The playground at Shelter # 3 is currently scheduled to remain open for use as long as possible while work is being completed at the main playground. Once the new equipment is installed at the main playground, it will be re-opened and the remaining work and closures will occur at the Shelter # 3 area. All work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. Shelters # 3 and # 4 will remain open throughout the project.
“The Grandview area of the park is beloved by many, and we are excited that the new walkways and updated playgrounds will allow us to better serve more visitors,” said Lizzie Watts, New River Gorge NR superintendent. The Grandview area was originally established as a state park in 1935 and became part of New River Gorge NR in 1990 when it was acquired by the NPS. Although playgrounds, such as the four that are located in the Grandview area, are not common in most national park units, the traditional use of them at Grandview has been maintained by the NPS. The current playground equipment dates back many decades, long before current accessibility guidelines and best practices were in place.
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Last updated: April 18, 2017

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