By Jesse Wood
The improvement project currently ongoing at Grandfather Mountain State Park likely won’t be finished until at least late June, according to Grandfather Mountain State Park Supt. Sue McBean.
The project, which includes construction of a restroom facility, new trailhead, parking area for 100 cars and N.C. 105 access, was initially contracted to be complete by Thanksgiving. Pilot-Mountain-based Garanco is the contractor on the project. In April, McBean noted that Garanco, which stopped working in December, and started back up early that month. She added that a construction moratorium near trout waters further delayed the project’s schedule.
In the past couple months, the estimated opening of the new parking lot had shifted to mid-May and mid-June at the earliest. Yesterday, Bean, who is away at training this week, guessed in an email that the project won’t be completed until at least late June.
The highway access is the last major part of the project left to do during this round of improvements. These are the first of two phases of improvements slated at Grandfather Mountain State Park. This second phase won’t begin until at least 2018 and includes an on-site park office, visitor contact station and possibly a maintenance facility.
The second phase of improvements will include an extension of the trail that will create an upper loop for visitors that don’t want to spend all day hiking across Grandfather Mountain State Park.
Both phases have construction budgets of $1.4 million and are funded through the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the $2 billion Connect NC Public Improvement Bond voters approved in May 2016.