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Dismal Swamp State Park Finally Reopens After Construction Delays

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Dismal Swamp State Park reopens next week and will be ready for the paddle celebration as the long-delayed bridge construction nears completion.

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation spokesperson Katie Hall said that the popular state park would reopen on April 22, paving the way for the 17th annual Paddle for the Border event, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.

The event is scheduled to take place on May 7.

“There have been several delays with the construction,” said Hall. “We don’t anticipate that this delay will affect Paddle for the Border events.”

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Photo courtesy of Dismal Swamp Welcome Center.

On June 14, 2021, the park was closed to conduct maintenance on a hydraulic bridge that allows boaters to cruise on the Dismal Swamp Canal.

In March, the park’s website declared that the park would reopen on April 1. However, the date was later moved to today.

Last Monday, Hall stated that she didn’t expect construction work would be completed. However, last Tuesday, the park’s website announced that the reopening was moved back to April 22.

“Dismal Swamp State Park, including the canoe and kayak launch, remains closed for extensive repairs to the bridge that allows entrance to the park,” the notice said.

Hall said the bridge maintenance had been completed and reinstalled. However, further work is needed to be completed before the park can reopen.

“The bridge is in place; however, there are more corrections that have to be made,” she said. “Once corrections are made, the park can be opened.”

The additional construction includes repairs and renovations to the two bridge tender huts at each end of the bridge and repairs to the park’s canoe and kayak launch.

Last Wednesday, a new wooden fence was installed at the park’s entrance, located at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center’s parking lot. Hall said a private contractor is leading the construction.

This article originally appeared on Reflector. Featured image from Dismal Swamp Welcome Center.

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