Parks Group Names National Parks with the Worst Roads

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 26, 2005
Contact:   Laura Loomis, NPCA, 202-454-3918; 703-447-6484 (cell)


Parks Group Names National Parks with the Worst Roads

WASHINGTON, D.C. - According to the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), many visitors heading out to the national parks this summer can expect unsafe roads and traffic jams. Today, NPCA named the national parks with the worst roads in the National Park System.

The roads in the worst condition are found in the following national parks:
= Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
= Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
= Death Valley National Park, California
= Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada
= Big Bend National Park, Texas
= Joshua Tree National Park, California.

In some stretches, roads in these parks are bad enough to be a hazard.

The 50-mile Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park is under repair, but has long been recognized as one of the worst roads in the park system. The multi-year construction project is estimated to cost between $140 million and $170 million. According to NPCA’s new report, Faded Glory: Top 10 Reasons to Reinvest in America’s National Park Heritage, 65 percent of the more than 5,000 miles of paved roads in the national parks are in poor to fair condition. The estimated cost to address transportation needs in the national parks exceeds $3 billion.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved a version of the transportation bill, providing $1.64 billion to repair roads and bridges in national parks over the next five years. These funds will help to alleviate traffic jams, restore crumbling, unsafe park roads, and provide better experiences for visitors. The bill is expected to pass this summer.

“The Senate’s request for annual funding for park roads is right on the money, but there are still major differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill,” said Laura Loomis, NPCA senior director. “In order to improve road conditions in the national parks, it will be critical that the level of funding in the Senate bill is maintained during the upcoming conference.”

The assessment of the worst roads is based upon a formula that factors the condition of an individual park road against its capital replacement value.

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