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Vicksburg District ceases construction of interpretive visitor center, field office at DeGray Lake’s Lakeview site

Published May 6, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District has ceased construction on a site for a new interpretive visitor center and field office at the Lakeview site at DeGray Lake near Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

USACE Vicksburg District personnel held multiple meetings with local communities and officials over the past several months, including the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce, Clark County, Iron Mountain, DeGray State Park, Keeping DeGray Lake Beautiful and local citizens, to obtain their perspectives on the construction. The interests of partners and stakeholders, including the widespread desire to maintain the natural beauty of the site, factored into the USACE Vicksburg District’s decision to cease work.

“In an effort to be a responsive and responsible partner, I have decided to cease construction of the new facility at the Lakeview site,” said USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “Providing a suitable workplace for Vicksburg District employees at DeGray Lake remains our primary objective, and we will explore other options to provide this necessity. We look forward to engaging the surrounding communities as we work to make this long-standing vision a reality.”

The former construction site, which is located at the Lakeview Area on the southeast side of the lake, was slated to include a building to house a visitor center and field office, an overlook structure that would have provided visitors with a scenic view of DeGray Lake and additional modern day-use facilities, including picnic areas.

Located on the Caddo River in Arkansas, DeGray Lake is a multi-purpose reservoir with flood control, hydropower, water supply, environmental and recreational functions. The 32,200-acre project spans Clark County and Hot Springs County, Arkansas. 

The USACE Vicksburg District owns and operates more than 100 recreation areas across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana where millions of visitors enjoy fishing, camping, hunting, boating, hiking, swimming, geocaching and more every year. The district’s 10 flood control reservoirs across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana provide numerous benefits to the region, including flood risk management, hydropower, water supply, wildlife management and recreation. 

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Jessica Dulaney

Release no. 20-040