SALT LAKE CITY — Little Sahara Recreation Area was recently approved for $1.45 million in improvements on Bureau of Land Management roads inside the recreation area.

The project's goal is to improve access around the Little Sahara Visitors Center by paving and chip sealing 16 miles of roads. Additional safety improvements will include new signs on curves and reconstruction of road shoulders on Sand Mountain.

“This project is a great use of federal highway funds and will improve safety and access for the 210,000 visitors that enjoy Little Sahara every year,” said Kevin Oliver, BLM-Utah West Desert District manager.

The Little Sahara road network is comprised of four BLM roads totaling 16 miles and a section of the Weise Highway from U.S. 6 to the main entrance of the recreation that is under the jurisdiction of Juab County.

In 2009, Juab County submitted the Little Sahara Sand Dunes and state Route 148 project for funding under the Federal Lands Access Program.

The $9.7 million proposal included improvements to BLM roads and 13.7 miles of county roads. The Federal Highway Administration approved a portion of the proposed project from U.S. 6 (Jericho Junction) to the Little Sahara entrance.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2014.