Delegation Welcomes Major Announcement on Denali Park Road
DOI Allocates $25 Million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, issued the following statements after Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that $25 million from the bipartisan infrastructure law is being made available to expedite a solution for Denali Park Road access.
The investment is one of the first that the Department of the Interior (DOI) has made under the infrastructure law. It is both timely and critical for Alaska, as the Denali Park Road has continued to face deterioration, including landslides, bringing closures and halting travel.
“Just weeks after our bipartisan infrastructure bill became law, it is already producing substantial benefits for Alaska. The Pretty Rocks Landslide at Polychrome Pass on the Denali Park Road has long been a slow-moving disaster, and this crucial funding will help ensure the road is once again safe for locals and visitors to traverse,” Senator Murkowski said. “As ranking member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve made fixing this road a priority—pressing multiple administrations for both near-term improvements and a long-term, sustainable solution. That work dovetails with my efforts on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which we designed to help address needs across Alaska. I thank the Secretary for working with us to prioritize the Denali Park Road and look forward to further investments in our state under this landmark law.”
“Denali National Park is considered by many to be the crown jewel of our national park system,” said Senator Sullivan. “Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock here each year to witness the park’s natural beauty and wildlife and to enjoy the endless outdoor recreational activities that Denali has to offer. These improvements are great news for the Denali Borough and Alaska’s tourism industry, enabling out-of-state visitors and our own residents to continue safely accessing this world-class park. I also pressed senior DOI officials to make sure that this $25 million in road construction goes to Alaska workers and contractors who know how to build our state better than anyone.”
“Big investments are already on their way to the great State of Alaska! The soaring peaks of Denali are some of our state's most iconic natural features. Each year, Denali National Park welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world, and it is vital that this treasured attraction remains accessible for years to come,” said Congressman Young. “Last night, I received a personal phone call from Interior Secretary Haaland informing me that $25 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be made available to address the Petty Rocks landslide. Over the past few years, the landslide has severely degraded Denali's road system, putting public access in severe jeopardy. This crucial funding will go a long way toward restoring the road and enhancing its resiliency for the future. The Alaska Delegation was united in our fight to ensure the infrastructure law would provide historic support for our state. This funding is just the tip of the iceberg in what will prove to be game-changing infrastructure investments in Alaska. I am grateful to the Administration, the National Park Service, and the countless Alaskan advocates who helped make this grant a reality. I want to remind the rest of our great nation that Denali is open for visitors in 2022, and we hope you will consider experiencing our great outdoors and everything Alaska has to offer.”
Background: Secretary Haaland announced today that the Department of the Interior (DOI) will allocate $25 million from the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) to accelerate work at Denali, allowing the National Park Service to move Phase 1 of the project forward in Fiscal Year 2022. The FLTP received funding through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides historic investments into roads, bridges, ports, airports, broadband, ferries, water and wastewater, resilience, and energy projects—modernizing and upgrading the nation’s core infrastructure. Senator Murkowski was a lead author and negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure package, and garnered support by the entire Alaska Congressional Delegation.