Weather delays opening of Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
A sign posted on the boardwalk along the east fork of the Black River in Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park located in Reynolds County, Mo., Thursday, May 25, 2006, warned visitors that the river was unsafe and not accessable to the public. The park was set to open Memorial Day weekend this year, but the opening will be pushed back to June 26. (File photo)

LESTERVILLE, Mo. — Recent winter weather and repeated flooding will delay the anticipated opening of the shut-ins for public use at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park near Lesterville, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today. The original date was Memorial Day Weekend; the new goal is June 26.

The department will not be able to open the shut-ins for Memorial Day Weekend because weather has hindered progress on construction of the new trail and boardwalk to the shut-ins and other projects. The anticipated opening date of June 26 will also depend on the weather, which will affect progress on construction projects and river levels. The river levels must be low enough for clean out of any debris in the shut-ins, which is necessary for safety reasons, DNR reported.

"The department, as well as Ameren and its contractors, remain committed to opening the park for swimming this summer," said Doyle Childers, department director. "In addition to construction projects, there are safety issues that must be resolved before the area is opened to the public." More information on the opening will be provided as soon as it is available.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park was damaged by the Taum Sauk reservoir breach in December 2005. While redevelopment of the park continues, the park has been open for limited use during the last two summers.

For information on the status of the park, visit www.mostateparks.com or call the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 or 800-379-2419 (telecommunications Device for the Deaf).

For news releases on the Web, visit www.dnr.mo.gov/newsrel. For a complete listing of upcoming meetings and events in the state park system, visit the online calendar at www.mostateparks.com/events/events.htm.

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