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Great American Outdoors Act to Provide $127M to Blue Ridge Parkway for Infrastructure Projects

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The Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina) will receive around $127 million from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funds for two major infrastructure projects in the nation’s most visited national park, including projects at the Laurel Fork Bridge in Ashe County and a 75-mile stretch of the Parkway from Ashe County to Avery County.

“Generations of park visitors and local residents have enjoyed scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway and into our neighboring communities, just last year the park had 15.9 million visitors,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Tracy Swartout.

“The Parkway was created to be a driver of tourism and to support and sustain local economies. Ongoing investments in critical park infrastructure and operations will allow the Parkway to continue to serve the nation in this important role.”

The projects include about $29 million for the complete reconstruction of Laurel Fork Bridge at milepost 248.8 in Ashe County.

The historic bridge is approaching the end of its lifecycle. Built in 1939, it is 546 feet long and 28 feet wide. The rehabilitation of the bridge will last two years and require a full closure with a detour.

The other is roughly $98 million for a three-year rehabilitation and repaving project that will cover more than 75 miles of the Parkway, starting at milepost 229.6 north of Doughton Park to milepost 305.1 close to Grandfather Mountain.

The paving project will involve replacing or repairing drains structures, curbs, pathways, shoulders, guardrails, overlooks, and signage. It will be rolled out in stages with numerous closures to allow for continuous access to recreation areas and visitor facilities inside the construction area.

The National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration will jointly oversee both projects.

Contracts for both projects have recently been awarded and construction timelines and detour locations are being finalized. Road closure dates and detour information will be announced and updated on the park’s website at nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.

The funds for the projects come from GAOA’s National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund. GAOA is part of a multi-faceted effort to tackle the massive maintenance backlogs in national parks.

Funded by the revenue generated from energy development, this fund can provide an amount of up to $1.3 billion per year for five years to make major improvements to national parks, preserve their beauty, and provide opportunities for education, recreation, and enjoyment for current and future guests.

This project will reduce over $115.6 million of maintenance backlog in the parks. It will also support more than 1,600 jobs and bring in $348 million to our nation’s economy.

This article originally appeared on Ashe Post & Times.

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

Modern Campground is the most innovative news source in the Outdoor Hospitality industry. We provide global news coverage for RV Park and Campground owners, operators, managers, and their team members.
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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Great American Outdoors Act to Provide 7M to Blue Ridge Parkway for Infrastructure Projects! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/north-carolina/great-american-outdoors-act-to-provide-127m-to-blue-ridge-parkway-for-infrastructure-projects/