By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
President Donald Trump Aug. 4 signed the Great American Outdoors Act, which provides to the National Park Service (NPS) up to $1.9 billion annually for five years to meet its backlog of deferred maintenance. The funding starts in the 2021 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
The backlog included $6.15 billion in paved roads and parking areas, bridges, and tunnels, as of September 2018, according to NPS. About 40 percent of the 5, 700 miles of paved roads in national parks are rated in “fair” or “poor condition.”
See the full deferred maintenance list by states and parks.
The nearly $10 billion in funding falls short of the estimated $12 billion in unmet needs that have accumulated in the national parks since the 1990s. The NPS says it welcomes nearly 330 million annual visitors, supports nearly 330,000 jobs, and contributes more than $40 billion every year to the U.S. economy.
(The Great American Outdoors Act signed Aug. 4 by President Trump. NPS photo.)