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Blue Springs soon goes to weekends only

Blue Springs soon goes to weekends only

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The full seven-day-a-week schedule at Blue Springs Recreation Area comes to its seasonal end on Sunday, Aug. 9. It will next be open on Saturday, Aug. 15 as a brief weekends-only schedule commences.

The Saturday-Sunday schedule continues until Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, with the park open that Monday to finish up the summer season of this year.

The park is expected to open on schedule next Memorial Day, with a lot of improvements to be completed during the traditional closed period of the year.

While it’s closed this time around, crews will be temporarily drawing down the water six feet so that workers can complete the park’s new headwall. That work is expected to begin in October or November. Until it starts, the boat ramp at Hunter’s Fish Camp Road will stay open to the public although the swimming area will be closed.

Once the headwall construction period begins, it will be closed as well until all the work is completed. Jackson County Public Works Director Rett Daniels said the headwall work was purposely pushed into the later months of the fall so that boaters could have more time to get out on the water from that point during a time when the summer heat has generally abated.

The headwall will be made of landscape block and replaces the sandbag array that currently serves the purpose of establishing an end to the water in order to keep it from washing up and eroding the maintained area of the popular recreational area on Merritt’s Mill Pond. The headwall structure will also provide a safer entry-and-exit experience for swimmers.

Additionally, the county is installing better steps for both side of the diving board platform, giving users more surface area on the approach.

The headwall will be capped with a sidewalk, giving visitors a defined walking path around the edge. The county is also adding a wading area for the youngest children, using a portion of the existing beach for the purpose.

Other changes include a redesign of some terraced area so that there will more flat space along the edge of the waterway. Currently, visitors have to start walking a fairly steep and uneven uphill area quite soon after they depart the beach and head toward the parking area.

The redesign of the now-terraced area includes the installation of structure that will help prevent the flow of oils and other pollutants from the parking lot into the pond, which can occur during periods of heavy rain.

The changes taking place this year will expand the recreational area’s fulfillment of American Disability Act standards, as well, with extra sidewalk rails installed nearer the water’s edge.

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