Acadia National Park’s backlog of deferred maintenance totals $57.6 million, which includes approximately $10.2 million for trails and $19.2 million for paved roads and associated bridges. FILE PHOTO

Maintenance a problem at park

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — Acadia National Park’s share of the National Park System’s $11.49 billion backlog of deferred maintenance is $57.6 million, which includes approximately $10.2 million for trails and $19.2 million for paved roads and associated bridges.

Deferred maintenance is necessary work on infrastructure such as roads, bridges, visitor centers, trails, campgrounds and water systems that has been put off for more than a year. Aging facilities, increasing use of park facilities and insufficient maintenance funding contribute to the growing backlog. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget request includes a major effort to reduce the maintenance backlog for the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016.

“We are inviting the world to discover the special places in the National Park System, like Acadia National Park, during our centennial celebration. We need facilities that can accommodate increased visitation and provide the best possible visitor experience,” said Superintendent Sheridan Steele.

Park roads and bridges account for about half of the maintenance backlog. The National Park Service receives some funding for these projects through the Federal Lands Transportation Program in the transportation bill, but those funds expire in May of this year. President Obama’s proposal for the transportation bill now under consideration in Congress includes $150 million in new funding for nationally significant projects that would be awarded competitively for major transportation projects on federal and tribal lands.

The National Park Service’s overall 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. Funding this proposal would enable the National Park Service to restore highest priority non-transportation assets to good condition over 10 years and maintain those assets in good condition.

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