Road project next year at Maquoketa Caves
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MAQUOKETA, Iowa — A proposed road project could prompt the closure of Maquoketa Caves State Park for several months next summer.
Plans call for a complete replacement of the asphalt road, 98th Street, from near the stone portals at the entrance of the cave to the gravel road that runs to the end of the property. The park will be closed while the paving is done because there will not be enough room for parking, according to Park Ranger Scott Dykstra.
But he cautioned that while plans have been drawn up for the project, state officials have not made a final decision on the concrete paving of the main road.
“I’m pushing hard for this,” he said. “They have this set aside in the budget to replace the road and do repairs for the parking lot. It’s a big project. They plan to widen the road up to the campgrounds, which will make it easier for traffic and walkers.”
The electrical system in the campground also would be upgraded. Bids for the work will be taken in November, after which time a decision will be made on whether to tackle the project next year.
Dykstra estimates at least 300,000 people visit the state park each year. There are 13 caves in the more-than-110-acre park. On Saturday alone, there were 1,200 visitors.
Dykstra has worked as ranger at the park for nine years, and he said there have not been any major renovations in that time (full article).
BY SHERI MELVOLD Dubuque Telegraph Herald, August 1, 2017
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