Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced the National Park Service will undertake more than 800 projects at parks across the country. The projects reflect an investment of $750 million in the national park system part of more than $3 billion the Interior Department is receiving under President Obama’s recovery plan. For a full list of the projects, go to the Department’s Recovery Web Site at www.interior.gov/recovery.
All the projects are long-standing priorities of the National Park Service based on its capital planning process. With an array of projects identified by stakeholders as critical, the service worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify investments that met the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
National Park Service road repair projects will also get a boost because Congress directed the Federal Highway Administration to spend $170 million of Recovery Act funds on roads in national parks. The Federal Highway money will fund 71 projects in 27 national parks in 18 states. The projects were selected from a list of priority projects rated by road condition, safety, and public use. Ready-to-go construction projects were selected as priority to ensure quick obligation, award and construction completion before the deadline of September 2010.