Building demolition begins this week at former Luster Heights Prison Camp

Area closed to the public during demolition; Access to State Forest trail system adjusted

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) maintenance workers are traveling from refuges all over the Midwest to begin the demolition of the former Luster Heights Prison Camp in rural Harpers Ferry. The maintenance workers will be joined by members of maintenance strike teams.

The strike team members, demolition project and the new office are funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. This crew of six to eight USFWS employees was scheduled to begin work June 6 and is expected to complete the project by June 26.

Demolition debris will be hauled off-site by Southwest Sanitation. The demolition site and entrance road will be closed to public access during this time. Visitors to the surrounding Yellow River State Forest Luster Heights Unit are asked to enter the trail system from the west as a section of the north trail will be closed for three weeks to accommodate the construction traffic.

The buildings are being demolished to clear the site for a future McGregor District office of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Cushing Terrell, an architecture, engineering and design firm, is currently developing the conceptual site plan for the new office. Construction on the new office and maintenance facilities is expected to begin in the fall of 2023 or early 2024.

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