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In late September, Shenandoah National Park officials awarded the first contract to improve park facilities using part of the $30 million that Shenandoah is receiving under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
According to the park’s Superintendent, Martha Bogle, "These facility improvement projects will enhance the visitor’s experience here at Shenandoah for years to come. We recognize that Fall is a very popular time for people to visit the park because of all the colorful autumn leaves, so we are working to minimize the impact of closures by limiting work to weekdays only and ensuring that picnic areas, trailheads and overlooks will be open on the weekends."
The contract estimated at almost $1 million to repave roads, parking areas, and trailheads was awarded to Firvida Construction Corporation out of Fairfax, Virginia. Work is expected to begin in mid-October and should last until the end of November. Visitors should expect closures in work areas; however, the closures will last no more than one week and will not be in effect on weekends. The following areas are scheduled to receive work: the Lewis Mountain and South River Picnic Grounds roads; parking areas at Rapidan Road, Milam Gap, Hawksbill Gap, Upper Hawksbill Gap, Skyland Lodge Upper area, and Whiteoak Falls; and overlooks at Doyles River, Dundo, The Oaks and Hemlock Springs.
Contracts for additional ARRA projects are slated to be awarded through the end of this year and into the beginning of 2010 for projects that will be undertaken next spring. These projects include re-paving and rehabilitation of areas along Skyline Drive, overlooks, and additional access roads throughout the park. "We’re very excited about being able to protect some of the park’s historic resources by getting this important work accomplished," Bogle said.
For more information on how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is enhancing National Park units across the country, please visit http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/national-park-service/.