Project Title: Rehabilitate McCool Lakes Road (FFS #R4BC)
Initial Project Description: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS, the Service) will use $643,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to rehabilitate the McCool Lakes Road at Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
For approximately 10 years, anglers visiting the Hatchie NWR near Brownsville, Tennessee to fish Big McCool Lake and Little McCool Lake have been unable to access the lakes via McCool Lakes Road. A previous construction project on an Interstate 40 bridge over the road cut off proper drainage, and water flooded the road. Anglers who wanted to access the lakes had to walk nearly a mile to reach them. The Service will use Recovery Act funds to rebuild McCool Lakes Road and fix the drainage problem, improving access to fishing areas at both lakes.
“Even though McCool Lakes were open to the public, access was limited to those physically able to make the trip on foot,” said Mike Chouinard, on-site Refuge Manager. “Once these improvements are done, people will be able to drive to the lakes and better enjoy the refuge.”
The improvements, which are scheduled to be completed in spring of 2010, will be handled in three phases, Chouinard said. Phase one, almost complete as of October 2009, was a series of contracts to Keith Webb Trucking in Ripley, Tennessee, for delivery of 4,000 tons of gravel to be spread on the road. Phase two will involve widening the road, and the third phase calls for fixing the drainage and adding a final layer of gravel. When it is finished, the road will be open to anglers to access the two lakes, which are stocked with bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and other fish.
Hatchie NWR includes 11,556 acres along the Hatchie River and is located approximately four miles south of Brownsville. It is open to the public for wildlife observation; fishing; photography; boating access to the Hatchie River; and deer, turkey, small game, and waterfowl hunting.
August 2011 Project Update: Refuge staff completed the rehabilitation of McCool Lakes Road in summer 2010. The project was completed 40% under budget, and ahead of schedule. In addition, the project helped stimulate the local economy through purchasing contract materials locally. According to Chouinard, re-opening the refuge to the public was “a great public relations boostfor the refuge.”
|Hatchie NWR project site prior to work beginning||The effort to rehab McCool Lakes Road is now underway|
Originally posted 10/29/2009
Page Completed 08/04/2011