A major tourist draw in eastern Iowa will be closed for the next four months. Re-construction of the road through Maquoketa Caves State Park will require the closing of the park, starting Monday (4/23) , and continuing into August.
Dave Heiar, Economic Development Director for the Jackson County Economic Alliance, says the road is in bad shape and needs a lot of work, but losing thousands of tourists will be hard on the area.
"They're giving us a worst case scenario as far as the closing of the park because they don't want people planning to go to the park to camp in August, if by chance it may not be open. But hopefully the work will be completed more quickly and they will be able to open it. "
Besides fixing the road, workers will extend utilities to campsites in the park.
He's heard the Maquoketa Caves attract between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors each year, which translates into the local purchase of a lot of groceries, restaurant meals, and gasoline. Heiar hopes tourists will still come to Maquoketa and Jackson County for its other attractions, including parks and canoeing and kayaking on the Maquoketa River.