Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the award of a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road Park.

The grant is a Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant. The funds will be used to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead, which can allow full service campsites and cabins on the 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park.

Park owner E.B. Lowman said right now riders are permitted to camp at an open space at the trailhead. Monday’s annoucement is the first of many steps to improving the park, Lowman said.

“We worked really hard with the Boyd County Fiscal Court to find the best approach for this grant,” Lowman said. “It will definitely benefit the park, the community and increase economic development potentially.”

Open since 2012, the Rush Off-Road Park saw appromately 40,000 visits last year, according to Lowman.

“That estimate can mean a person who visits one time, or a person who visits 10 times in a year,” Loman said. “We really think the infastructure will grow the visitor numbers exponentially.”

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will oversee the AML project. Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney said the announcement is a positive development for the area, especially in the wake of last week’s Our Lady of Bellefonte’s closure notice.