Statement by NPCA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Craig Obey
“The president is appropriately drawing attention to the sorry state of infrastructure and needed investments throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the administration’s transportation proposal does not meaningfully address the deteriorating condition of many roads and bridges in our National Park System. National parks are among the only entities that receive transportation funding solely from the federal government, because unlike states, they have no independent taxing authority. Transportation needs comprise more than half of the $11.3 billion maintenance backlog for our national parks, harming the visitor experience and local tourism economies.
“The president is focusing the nation’s eyes today on the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, calling for Congress to invest in America’s roads, bridges and ports. Right here in Washington, D.C., the National Park Service is responsible for maintaining the Memorial Bridge, which is structurally deficient, carries 68,000 vehicles per day, and needs hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs. There are a multitude of similar needs throughout the National Park System, including a $1.3 billion replacement of the loop road in Yellowstone National Park.
“Earlier this year, President Obama put forth a strong budget proposal, which is being considered now by Congress and if funded, will reinvest in park rangers, produce American jobs, and support gateway economies. The administration and Congress must place necessary priority on addressing the National Park Service’s $11.3 billion maintenance backlog through the transportation bill.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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