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Contact: Brad Bennett, 423-752-5213 x115
Fort Oglethorpe, GA –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. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Parkalso has a backlog of deferred maintenance projects which totals $49,490,189.
Deferred maintenance is necessary work on infrastructure such as roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails, and campgrounds that 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. Our list of deferred maintenance projects is about 50 percent transportation and 50 percent non-transportation assets.
Congressional funding for the National Park Service 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," says Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Superintendent Brad Bennett. "During our centennial celebration, we are inviting everyone to discover –and rediscover –the many special places in the national park that we preserve and protect in and around the greater Chattanooga community including Chickamauga Battlefield, Lookout Mountain Battlefield (Point Park, Sunset Rock, and Cravens House), Signal Point, Orchard Knob, Moccasin Bend and the various vantage points along Missionary Ridge, including Sherman Reservation. We need to have facilities that can help local residents and visitors have a meaningful experience."
"Recent increases to fund nationally significant transportation projects will address some of the National Park Service's large, critical deferred maintenance transportation projects," Superintendent Bennett continued. "Completing those projects will improve national park experiences for the hundreds of millions of visitors that come to national parks each year. We hope to see additional resources for parks to improve visitor services through maintenance projects in the Centennial bill Congress is considering presently."Deferred maintenance figures by type, park, and state are available at https://go.nps.gov/deferredmaint