New restrooms in works at parks

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks near Clarkston and Starbuck will have their facilities revamped in coming months, courtesy of federal stimulus funding.

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New restrooms that can be more easily maintained and fit the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act are under construction at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks near Clarkston and Starbuck.

On Monday, restrooms at Greenbelt Ramp, Swallows Ramp and Chestnut Beach closed as Corps staff and contractors began work to remove and replace them.

An additional restroom will be built in the day-use area on the south shore of the lower Snake River. All of the new restrooms will meet ADA standards.

Harry Johnson Plumbing and Excavation Inc. of Walla Walla will complete the removal, and CXT Inc. of Spokane will deliver the restrooms to the parks.

The cost of the project is covered by government stimulus money, and will likely reduce park maintenance costs in Clarkston and Starbuck in the long run, according to a Corps official.

"We're trying to replace our aging infrastructure and reduce operating costs," said Darren Opp, assistant manager at Walla Walla District's Lower Granite Natural Resource Management Office in Clarkston. "These new restrooms should help achieve that as they can be more easily maintained."

The projects at Greenbelt, Swallows and Little Goose are expected to be completed at the end of January, while the Chestnut Beach project should be finished before summer 2010.

In the meantime, the Corps asks that visitors stay clear of the construction areas and use the portable toilets currently provided.

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