HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: The National Park Service (NPS) this week released its Fiscal Year 2015 deferred maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.9 billion nationwide total was up from the $11.49 billion reported at the end of FY2014. Of the nationwide total, the Natchez Trace Parkway has a backlog of deferred maintenance projects that totals $368,729,866.
Deferred maintenance is necessary work on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails, and campgrounds, which has been put off for more than a year. Aging facilities, increasing use of park facilities, and insufficient maintenance funding contribute to the growing backlog. The National Park Service’s list of deferred maintenance projects is about 50 percent transportation and 50 percent non-transportation assets.
Congressional funding for the NPS in 2016 includes an additional $90 million for non-transportation maintenance. Congress also passed a new highway bill, which will provide a $28 million increase for transportation projects in parks this year. Funding for transportation-related maintenance and construction will continue to rise by $8 million per year for five years until it reaches $300 million per year in 2020.
“The funds Congress provided for 2016 will help us as we move toward the goal of restoring our highest priority non-transportation assets to good condition. With Congress still considering a Centennial bill, we look forward to having additional resources to reach the goal of having those high priority assets restored to good condition,” said Superintendent Mary Risser.
“We invite the world to discover the special places in the National Park System, like the Natchez Trace Parkway, during our centennial celebration. We need to have facilities that can accommodate guests and provide the best possible visitor experience,” said Risser.
Deferred maintenance figures by type, park, and state are available at http://go.nps.gov/deferredmaint
To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit www.nps.gov/natr.