The archery range and various areas in the campgrounds of Usery Mountain Regional Park near northeast Mesa will be closed for two months starting on Aug. 12, as aging electrical and lighting systems are replaced, according to park officials.
The 25-year-old lighting poles in the archery range will be replaced with vapor-proof LED and high-mast tower lighting at all six courses. The system is more efficient and longer-lasting, officials said in a press release.
Lights that point toward the targets will be installed, as well as a new audio announcement system. Park officials said the lights will make it easier to shoot at night, and will potentially attract more tournaments.
“Our team has been working diligently over the past couple of years to update our existing infrastructure and bring new amenities into the parks,” said R.J. Cardin, director of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. “I think park visitors will be pleased with the updates that have been made.”
Between 700 to 1,000 people use the archery range during the peak season, which is from October to April. The summer is the slow season, so the construction will “minimally impact recreation activities in the park,” according to Cardin.
The archery range will be closed for two months while these upgrades are being made.
Other upgrades will be made to the electrical service, distribution board and power panels in the customer service area.
Campsites will receive upgrades, and 30-year-old electrical systems will be replaced to keep up with the increased electrical demands from modern RVs, officials said.
In all, 75 electrical boxes throughout the camping area will be replaced. The park is also working with Salt River Project to upgrade transformers that power five main lines going into the campgrounds.
“These service boxes get electricity from SRP and disperse it out like a large spider web to smaller units around the park,” said Timothy Jackson, the general foreman at Rosendin, the company installing the technology changes.
“Over time, Arizona’s intense heat breaks down the breakers and insulation on the wires, which creates resistance and that breaks down the conductivity of the electricity moving through the wires.”
The campsites will remain open during construction, officials said. However, certain areas will be blocked off as a safety precaution.
Rosendin began prepping for construction in May 2018, and this project has been in the works for about five years, officials said.
All construction is expected to be completed in October.
Other county park upgrades are planned for McDowell Mountain Regional Park near Fountain hills and White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddel in the next coming years. A year-long project was completed in April at Estrella Mountain Regional Park to upgrade electrical and lighting fixtures at the playground, host area, and camp ramadas, officials said.