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Outdoors Duke Energy opens new boating access areas in Jackson County

Duke Energy has completed all the major work at the new Barkers Creek and Locust Creek access areas on the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County. They are free to the public.

The Barkers Creek access area, located on Hwy. 74 at River Mile 26.8, near Whittier, N.C., includes a boat ramp suitable for launching canoes, kayaks and small drift boats.

Duke Energy incorporated vegetated rain gardens into the site, which filter storm water runoff prior to entering the river to help maintain water quality.

Parking is provided and can accommodate vehicles and trailers. The access area will be maintained by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Locust Creek access area, located on Old Cullowhee Road at River Mile 37.4 near Cullowhee, N.C., includes a boat ramp suitable for launching canoes, kayaks and small drift boats. Parking is provided and can accommodate vehicles and trailers.

A vault toilet restroom facility will be added to the site later this year. Jackson County will maintain the area under a long-term lease arrangement with Duke Energy.

Both access areas along the Tuckasegee River offer handicap-accessible parking as well as sidewalks, information kiosks, and signage.

“These upgrades were performed with quality, sustainability and long-term maintenance considerations in mind,” said John Crutchfield, director of Public Safety and Recreation Strategy Planning Services for Duke Energy.

“These are two of the four Tuckasegee River access areas placed in service by Duke Energy since 2011. This work supports our commitment to providing community improvements in exchange for use of the water that allows us to provide reliable, affordable energy to our customers,” he added.

Guests with additional questions can call 800-829-LAKE (5253) or check the Nantahala Area Lakes and Rivers Flow Arrival and Recession Times website http://www.dukeenergy.com/lakes/nantahala/nan-downstreamflow-releases.asp for information.

Bear Creek Lake boating access area renovations complete

Improvements to Bear Creek Lake boating access area are complete, and the area is open to the public.

The access area is located on Bear Creek Lake in Jackson County, N.C., at the end of Bear Lake Road. All the renovations were performed by and will be maintained by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The refurbished site features two 14-footwide, 90-foot-long ramps. The bottom elevation of the ramps is 88 feet, so boaters can launch when the lake is lower in the winter. A new floating dock with handicapped boarding assist handrails was also installed.

“We value the cooperative partnership that exists between Duke Energy and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to provide quality recreation facilities for the boating public,” said John Crutchfield, Duke Energy director, public safety and recreation strategy planning services. “Duke Energy has plans to pave the parking area, install a vault toilet and build an accessible fishing pier in the next two to three years.”

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coalfired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at www.duke-energy.com.


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