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Closure scheduled to build rec area in Sonoran Desert National Monument

Parts of the Sonoran Desert National Monument are set to close in mid-August so crews can start building the first of three planned recreation areas.

The Estrella-Wayside Recreation Area will be built along Maricopa Road, which cuts across the north half of the national monument between the city of Maricopa and Gila Bend.

“This will help improve recreational opportunities for folks. Give them more camping opportunities, for example. There are plans for equestrian staging areas,” said Chris Wonderly with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Phoenix District office.

The closure could go for up to two years, depending on how long construction of the recreation area takes.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.