What Is Deferred Maintenance?

More than $11.9 billion of repairs or maintenance on roads, buildings, utility systems, and other structures and facilities across the National Park System has been postponed for more than a year due to budget constraints. Collectively they are known as “deferred maintenance.” Addressing deferred maintenance is a critical focus area of our core mission to preserve parks and provide a world-class visitor experience.

In addition to funding appropriated to the National Park Service for construction and deferred maintenance projects, the Great American Outdoors Act, passed on August 4, 2020, established a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund that will help address deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. With adequate funding and proper investment, deferred maintenance can be reduced to a manageable level.


National Park Service (NPS) deferred maintenance increased by $313 million (about 2.7 percent) in fiscal year 2018 (from October 2017 to September 2018.) Deferred maintenance increased because needs exceeded our capacity to address the work.

As of September 30, 2018, deferred maintenance totaled $11.92 billion. It can be broken down into two categories:

  • Paved roads and structures: $6.15 billion
    • Includes bridges, tunnels, paved parking areas, and paved roadways
  • All other facilities: $5.77 billion
    • Includes buildings, housing, campgrounds, trails, waste water systems, water systems, unpaved roads, unpaved parking areas, utility systems, dams, constructed waterways, marinas, aviation systems, railroads, ships, monuments, fortifications, towers, interpretive media, and amphitheaters

Learn more about inventorying and reporting deferred maintenance and download annual reports created since fiscal year 2014.

Last updated: January 15, 2021