Taylor said that option has been discussed and studied, but the cost is prohibitive.
“The cost for paving the road was a lot higher (than gravel); it exceeded the entire region’s road account,” he said. “We opted to go with gravel at this time ... it’s possible that the road may never get paved.”
Taylor did not have information on who won the road bid and what the cost will be. A bid document drawn up by the federal government estimated the cost at $250,000 to $600,000.
The refuge draws more than 250,000 visitors per year, the vast majority of whom come by car. A 2011 transportation study revealed that August is the busiest month, with July and September in close pursuit. Average visitation in August is about 44,000, while July and September each see about 35,500 or so people.
December and January are the quietest months, with around 9,000 visitors each month.