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Oct. 5, 2010
Palo Duro Canyon to Remain Open During Road Work
CANYON – Palo Duro Canyon State Park’s main park road from the rim to the canyon floor will remain open this winter during what may be up to five months of construction to stabilize the asphalt roadway and improve drainage.
Construction on a hilly half-mile of Park Road 5, the only road providing access to park facilities at the bottom of the canyon, will begin on Nov. 29, the Monday following the park’s typical busy Thanksgiving weekend, according to Nathan Londenberg, assistant park superintendent. He says construction crews will keep one lane open during the project, though both lanes might be closed briefly while equipment is being moved or the road bed is being shaped.
Londenberg says Brad Brothers Emergency Services, LLC, the firm hired by the Texas Department of Transportation to perform the maintenance work, should have the project completed by no later than late spring, weather permitting.
Construction will include the installation of new culverts under the roadway to improve drainage on the steep-sloped roadway, as well as rock gabion baskets to lessen soil erosion at several locations. The project will have no impact on the park’s entry area, rim-side cabins and Visitors Center/Gift Shop and adjacent scenic overlook.
At 120 miles long, up to 800 feet deep and 20 miles at its widest point, Palo Duro Canyon – the Grand Canyon of Texas – ranks second only to Arizona’s Grand Canyon as the nation’s second largest. It is home to the outdoor theater production, TEXAS, which just concluded its 41st season in August.
The park is located about 20 miles south of Amarillo and 12 miles east of Canyon. The park is open seven days a week. For more information about Palo Duro Canyon State Park, call (806) 488-2227.
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