BEND, Ore. -

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest will begin constructing an expansion of the parking lot at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park this week.

The expansion will include construction of an expanded, paved parking area to increase capacity from 120 to approximately 180 passenger vehicles, a kiosk and a new double vault toilet.

The sno-park will be closed to the public during construction; however, Forest Road 4315, which is adjacent to the Sno-park will remain open. 

The public should be aware that there may potential delays on the road to allow for construction traffic. Construction is planned to finish by mid-September and no winter activities will be affected by the construction.

The decision to complete phased improvements and expansion of the sno-park to reduce parking congestion and improve safety was signed in 2008.   These improvements are funded through a Federal Highways Administration (FHA) grant.

The same FHA grant, along with a Recreation Trails Program grant through Oregon State Parks and Recreation and partner contributions from Meissner Nordic, will fund the construction of a new warming shelter at the site next year, completing the planned improvements for the site.

For more information about the project, please contact Amy Tinderholt, Recreation Team Lead for the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District, at 541-383-4708.