FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced on Monday a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to a 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park located in southern Boyd County.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant funds will help the Rush Off-Road park, located about 12 miles southwest of Ashland, to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead.
The Boyd County Fiscal Court will oversee the project. The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement approved the funding.
"Expanding much needed infrastructure at the Rush Off-Road park will help to boost visitation and add other economic development opportunities, which is critical for this region," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "These funds support not only Boyd and Carter counties, which the park's off-road trails run across, but help to showcase to thousands of visitors who use the park every year that Kentucky is committed to coalfield revitalization efforts and to offering innovative adventure tourism experiences."
Rush Off-Road park opened its gates in December 2012.
Lawmakers said completion of the infrastructure improvements will allow additional future development at the trailhead area to include cabins, full service campsites, a welcome center, a shower/bathhouse, vehicle wash facility, storage facility and service to these areas with sewer, water and electric utilities.
“Our rugged off-road trails are attracting more and more people to Eastern Kentucky, and this grant will help the Rush Off-Road park entice visitors to stay a little longer, by adding the infrastructure to support new cabins, campsites and other facilities,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who has secured $450 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a news release statement. “With implementation of every AML Pilot Grant, we are beginning to see revitalization in our former coalfields, where desolation is transforming into jobs, exciting tourism projects and new opportunities for local residents and visitors.”
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the project is a great fit for the area.
"The AML Pilot program is designed to bring economic development and we are confident that these infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road park will do that," Goodman said.