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Senator Kelly Addresses Changes Needed For Snowbowl Road And Lake Powell At A Senate Hearing Wednesday

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly advocated for major improvements in Northern Arizona at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on National Forests Wednesday. Senator Kelly focused on the maintenance needs for Snowbowl Road, and boat ramp damage and shortages at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Currently, water levels at Lake Powell are at a 34-percent capacity, and have dropped by 22-feet in the past six months. The lake is also one of the most visited boating locations in the west and receives roughly three million visitors yearly. Lake Powell is 180-miles long and there is currently only one usable boat ramp. Senator Kelly says the other ten boat ramps at Lake Powell are either beached due to the drought or are in need of a replacement. The Deputy Assistant for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Shannon Estenoz, told Senator Kelly that a grant of 31-million dollars will be given to Glen Canyon National Recreational Area in supplemental disaster funding. Estenoz says, “The 31-million dollars is going to give us a really good start on alleviating the pressure there and you know for a situation that we know is creating significant hardship.” A date for the when the money will be received has not been set. After discussing changes to Lake Powell, Senator Kelly switched the topic of conversation to Snowbowl Road, and improvements needed. With potholes filling the roads at every turn and the double-yellow lines nearly gone, Deputy Chief of the Forest Service Chris French claims he is confident money will be received to repair the roads. The project doesn’t fit the budget under the Great American Outdoors Act, where the average project is roughly one-million dollars. French says the cost for Snowbowl Road repairs would be between nine and 13-million dollars, and there may be potential funding for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill down the line. Snowbowl Road receives around half a million visitors yearly, but hasn’t been repaved since 1990.

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