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Contact: Michael Madell, Superintendent, 601-619-2902
The battlefield restoration project has resumed in Vicksburg National Military Park, with contractors working to complete Phase 1 on the area located south of the Illinois Memorial and Shirley House.
Phase 2 has begun on the South Loop tour road, between Railroad Redoubt (Tour Stop 13) and Fort Garrott (Tour Stop 14) this week. During this work, the tour road may at times be closed to vehicular/pedestrian traffic while machinery and equipment is moved to and from the project site.
Because of the safety issue concerns, the park asks visitors to continue to avoid construction areas and obey all posted signage. The public should particularly remain alert for periodic smoke/haze caused by burning of debris piles on the project sites.
The restoration work involves removal of woodland cover and maintenance of the landscape in a more open and visually accessible state on sites designated to be areas of key military engagements during the campaign for Vicksburg, as determined by the 2009 Cultural Landscape Report.These sites were identified through careful review of the military terrain that helped define the events of May 19 through July 4, 1863, and its ability to convey the full range of events and activities that occurred. The remaining project area is located at Graveyard Road near its intersection with Union Avenue.
The goal is to remove the least woodland cover needed to reveal the most important historic landscape relationships.This will also provide for additional interpretive exhibits and devices to support visitor understanding of the events of 1863.The mitigation required for this restoration project will include stringent erosion control measures, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) during and after clearing, monitoring of wildlife, plants, water quality, and soundscape in order to detect any definitive changes, and continual landscape assessment to determine if modifications are needed for subsequent phases of the restoration process.
Project updates, including road closures, will be posted regularly on the park's web site at: www.nps.gov/vick/parkmgmt/restoration.htm