GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The roads at two North Alabama state parks are now much smoother thanks to a repaving grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), the $829,080 grant covered the access roads and parking areas for the lodge and campground store at Lake Guntersville State Park and the parking lot at DeSoto Falls.

Alabama State Parks also provided another $500,000 for special asphalt at Lake Guntersville State Park.

When old friends at ADEM began telling me about this new asphalt mix and its benefits and how it might meet our needs, the ideas for this project began to come together,” said ADCNR Deputy Commissioner Ed Poolos.

The special asphalt mixes the rubber from recycled tires with asphalt compound to make a “superior road surface.” ADCNR says studies show the new asphalt lasts up to 50% longer.

“It was great to think of a joint project that would promote environmental health and enhance Alabama’s conservation and recreation at the same time,” Poolos continued. “Anytime you can convert something like old, used tires into new roads and parking that benefit our State Parks and Alabama’s citizens who use them, that’s very exciting.”

DeSoto State Park also recently finished renovations to the swimming area, railing, and restrooms.

“We are extremely happy to partner with State Parks on these projects, first at Lake Guntersville and then at DeSoto, and we look forward to possibly growing the program to include other parks,” said ADEM Director Lance LeFleur.

Learn more about Alabama State Parks at alapark.com.