Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Transportation Opportunities & Successes
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (the Law) increases funding for the NPS under the Federal Lands Transportation Program by 22 percent to over $1.73 billion over five years. These funds will be invested in repairing and upgrading multiuse trails, transit systems, roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. The Law also makes billions of dollars in discretionary and formula grant programs available that will help fund bridge replacements and resiliency projects, repair ferry boats and terminal facilities, and build wildlife crossings that keep people and surrounding wildlife safe.
The Law invests in critical transportation infrastructure and will help NPS address:
- Climate and Severe Weather Resiliency: Projects that improve the resiliency of transportation infrastructure to sea level rise and severe weather events, including roads and bridges that are designated evacuation routes or located in at-risk areas.
- Connections to Underserved Gateway Communities: Projects that directly connect or improve access to nearby local communities. Including those which encourage walking, bicycling, or transit use to NPS locations. Examples include new transit facilities, paved trails, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that connects underserved rural and urban communities and Tribal lands.
- Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations: Projects to enable electric vehicle use in NPS lands. For example, the NPS is replacing Zion National Park’s aging bus fleet with one of the largest battery-electric bus purchases in North America. The bus electrification project will help the park reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, reduce noise, and save on operating costs. Additionally, the NPS has over 150 public electric vehicle charging stations. The NPS is working through partnerships to build out an expanded network of electric vehicle chargers, supported by BIL funding.
- Wildlife Crossings: Projects to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve habitat connectivity, including construction of wildlife bridges and tunnels, fencing, and culvert replacements which enable wildlife to avoid crossing roadways where mortality often occurs.
- Rehabilitation and Repair Projects: Repairs to existing parkways, roads, bridges, paved trails, tunnels, parking areas, transit facilities, and transit fleet replacements, reducing the backlog of deferred maintenance and ensuring the majority of transportation facilities remain in good condition.
The NPS worked with partners to leverage over $400 million from similar past discretionary programs to complete the “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway, rehabilitate the Arlington Memorial Bridge, electrify Zion National Park’s transit fleet, and construct bridges along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) to restore natural water flow to the Everglades.
The NPS developed a strategic plan to guide how the NPS approaches grant funding opportunities in the Law over the next five years, articulating a strategy for identifying high priority projects for discretionary grant programs, working with partners to leverage funding opportunities for NPS transportation priorities, and building internal and external capacity to advance the NPS’s transportation goals.
Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) Program
Yellowstone Grand Loop Road Reconstruction, Canyon to Tower (Phase III)
The NPS received grant funding through the NSFLTP Program to fund the Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road project at Yellowstone National Park. After two years of construction and roughly $28 million invested, the road reopened in May 2022. Click here to learn more about this project.
Zion National Park Fleet ElectrificationThe NPS was awarded $33 million through the NSFLTP program to electrify their aged transit fleet. The zero emission buses are being manufactured and will arrive in the park to serve visitors over a 3 year period beginning in 2023. Click here to learn more about this project.
Partnerships - Key to Success
Transportation transcends park boundaries, therefore, working with stakeholders and transportation partners in state and local governments will be key to the success for access to and within our national parks. Many BIL programs require that the NPS apply jointly or through a partner.
On May 5, 2022 the NPS presented a Webinar on partnerships that covers:
- an overview of the BIL with information on why partnering is important to BIL opportunities and NPS transportation priorities
- partnership strategies and resources
- an overview of integrated transportation planning with an example from Colorado
- partnership grants success stories and lessons learned
Last updated: December 15, 2022