Department of Interior Announces Alaska Projects to Receive Funding to Address Deferred Maintenance
Project funding allocated by Murkowski’s Interior Bill
The Department of the Interior (DOI) has released funding for the 165 projects across the U.S. – including seven projects in Alaska – allocated by the fiscal year 2020 Interior Appropriations from the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF). The LRF was established through the Great American Outdoors Act, legislation shepherded by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and signed into law in August 2020.
“During my time as chairman of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked hard to help address Alaska’s significant maintenance backlog in our national parks. Alaska has over $100 million of deferred maintenance projects at the Park Service and the list of needs continues to grow,” said Senator Murkowski. “The condition of the roads, campgrounds, infrastructure and more in our parks, refuges and public lands has a direct impact not only those who call Alaska home, but also the many visitors that travel to experience our world-renowned public lands.”
- Campbell Creek Science Center Access Repairs: $3.5 million to repair the Campbell Creek Science Center access road and parking lot. The project will provide a more efficient traffic flow and overall operation for visitors and employees and will subsequently improve public safety by reducing dangerous pedestrian and vehicle conflicts. The center receives nearly 300,000 visitors a year.
- Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve Housing Units: $19.2 million for demolishing and replacing apartment buildings that are currently used for concessioner housing as well as demolishing and replacing a non-historic, multi-use building located in the Glacier Bay Lodge Historic District, which with the Glacier Bay Historic Lodge, blocks visitor access and does not meet current safety, fire or accessibility codes. The project also supports replacement of buried fuel and propane lines that are currently at risk of leakage.
- Sourdough Campground Bridge Replacement: $1.9 million to replace a severely deteriorated, unsafe bridge which is unable to carry legal highway loads and is currently the only access point for thousands of visitors to the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River.
- Fort Egbert National Historic Landmark Repairs: $440,000 to help repair Fort Egbert structures to protect and maintain the historic buildings, sites, and museums as well as to address a number of safety concerns including the presence of lead-based paint and asbestos.
- Glennallen Log Bunkhouse Disposal: $276,000 for the disposal of the Glennallen log bunkhouse, which is structurally unsound and no longer safe for employees. Disposing the building prioritizes the health and safety of employees and visitors and also significantly reduces maintenance and lease costs.
- Campbell Tract Recreation Access Repairs: $100,000 to restore the public access trail, creating safer public access for around 100,000 people that annually enjoy public recreation on the Campbell Tract.
- Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Facility Modernization and Repair: $636,000 for the design of the replacement of water and sewer lines and seismic and architectural building rehabilitations to address significant safety concerns. The building rehabilitations will help with staff recruitment and retention as well as daily operations.
For the full list of nationwide projects, click here.
As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the 116th Congress, Senator Murkowski helped advance the Great American Outdoors Act through the Senate and into law. The bill is largely comprised of two bills reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year: S. 500, the Restore Our Parks Act, and S. 1081, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. Murkowski has strongly supported addressing the multi-billion maintenance backlogs at land management agencies and the stateside LWCF program, which provides matching grants for state parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
Murkowski sponsored and cosponsored several amendments to the Great American Outdoors Act, including one to establish an offshore revenue-sharing program for Alaska to provide for coastal protection, restoration, village relocation, and other critical projects.
Murkowski has used her position on the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee to steadily increase funding to address maintenance backlogs, providing more than $1.3 billion over the past four years alone.