April 2, 2015
NPS Centennial budget request seeks
funding for maintenance backlog
By IRENE NOLAN
Park Service's budget request for the fiscal year 2016, which is before
Congress, includes a major effort to reduce the maintenance backlog for
the NPS centennial in 2016, according to Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
National Park Service late last month released its fiscal year
2014 deferred maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.49
billion nationwide total was up from the $11.3 billion reported at the
end of fiscal year 2013.
According to the Park Service, deferred
maintenance projects for the Outer Banks Group, which includes Cape
Hatteras National Seashore, now total $56 million.
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 scarce resources contribute to the growing backlog.
funded, the National Park Service’s 2016 budget request will allow us
to restore our highest priority non-transportation assets to good
condition,” Jarvis said in a news release. “As we invite more Americans
to discover the special places in the National Park System during our
centennial celebration, we need to have facilities that can accommodate
them and provide the best possible visitor experience.”
Service says that roads and bridges account for about half of the
maintenance backlog. NPS receives some funding for these projects
through the Federal Lands Transportation Program in the surface
transportation bill. Those funds are set to expire in May.
Obama’s proposal for the transportation bill, now under consideration
in Congress, includes $150 million in new funding for nationally
significant projects. The money would be awarded competitively for
major transportation projects on federal and tribal lands.
Obama’s proposal for these major projects could address some of the
National Park Service’s large, and critical, deferred transportation
projects,” Jarvis said in the news release. “Completing those projects
would pave the way for many of the hundreds of millions of visitors
that come to national parks each year.”
The National Park
Service’s budget request for non-transportation assets includes an
increase of $242.8 million across operations and construction
accounts, in combination with a mandatory proposal to provide $300
million annually over three years, to restore highest priority
non-transportation assets to good condition over 10 years and to
maintain that infrastructure in good condition.
Groups chief of maintenance, John Kowlok, provided a list of deferred
maintenance projects for the three parks in the group -- the seashore,
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and the Wright Brothers National
Kowlok said the Park Service does not provide costs for individual projects that will be put out for bid.
said the two most costly projects on the list are repairs to the Cape
Hatteras Lighthouse and the rehabilitation of the aging Wright Brothers
Repairs to the lighthouse, Kowlok said, are
based on a comprehensive condition assessment that was completed in
2014. Included in this project are repairing and cleaning the
lighthouse's masonry, metal staircase, metal panels and doors, windows,
marble floor pavers, watchroom, balcony, and lantern.
projects, along with a dozen other high-dollar repairs, account for $30
million of the park's $56 million in deferred maintenance.
The other 12 are:
- Replace Frisco Water Plant with Municipal Connection
- Replace Fort Raleigh Water Plant with Municipal Connection
- Replace Seating Chairs in the Fort Raleigh Lost Colony Amphitheater
- Provide Sustainable Parking at the Bodie Island Lighthouse to Address Increased Visitation
- Replace Deficient Comfort Station at the Bodie Island Lighthouse to Address Increased Visitation
- Paint Interiors and Exterior and Refinish Floors in the Hatteras Double Keepers Quarters
- Paint Interiors and Exterior and Refinish Flooring of the Hatteras Principal Keepers Quarters
- Replace Septic Systems at the Fort Raleigh Lost Colony Area
- Pave Roadway Surface and Replace Culverts on Various Roads in Wright Brothers National Memorial
- Resurface the Parking Area and Entrance Road at the Old Frisco Pier Site
- Replace Deck and Boardwalk at Ocracoke Day Use Area
- Repair Roof Framing and Skylights and Exterior Walls on Ocracoke Comfort Stations and Showers
Click here for a complete list of deferred maintenance projects for the Outer Banks Group.
Deferred maintenance figures by type, park and state are available at http://go.nps.gov/deferredmaint