GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Park Service has made progress on the Bright Angel Trailhead rehabilitation project on the South Rim, including reconstruction of the stone masonry wall near Kolb Studio, completion of parking lot paving between the Bright Angel cabins and the trailhead, and near completion of the shade shelters in the plaza.
Additionally, new restrooms are about 25 percent done and crews have started construction on a new accessible trail from Village Loop Road to the southwest trailhead near the corral. The overall project is on schedule and should completed sometime in April, 2013.
The next major milestone is the construction of the Rim Trail and Bright Angel walls, which construction crews started Monday. Fencing will be erected and detour signs posted, directing all Bright Angel Trail access to the northeast access point, just west of Kolb Studio, the southwest trailhead (near the coral) will be closed. This closure is anticipated to be in effect through December, weather permitting and will be signed to help visitors access the Bright Angel Trail and surrounding area. In coordination with Xanterra and National Park Service trail crews, an alternative route for mule access is available. Mule riders will also use the northeast trailhead near Kolb Studio, via a portion of the Rim Trail. The NPS added temporary provisions to sections of this alternative route - soil and stop bars - to help mule traffic on steep paved areas and over steps as outlined on the attached detour map.
Merrill, Inc., the construction contractor for the Bright Angel Trailhead area, will erect a debris catchment fence below the Rim Trail and Bright Angel wall construction area. Tomorrow the Bright Angel Trail will be closed to all users from the Rim to 1.5 Mile from 8:30 a.m. to noon. From approximately 10 a.m. to noon, crews will install the steel posts and steel mesh for the debris catchment system. At this time, park officials will close trails as a precautionary measure to protect users from any potential rock falls that might occur during the installation,
Additional information on the Bright Angel Trailhead reconstruction project is available by contacting Vicky Stinson at (928) 638-7364 or Victoria_Stinson@nps.gov.