FSMS Joins Florida Groups in Asking Congress to Fix National Parks

National parks across Florida face $262.2 million repair backlog

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – Florida’s leading construction, engineering, and contractors groups joined a national coalition of their peers, along with skilled labor unions and other contractors, in releasing a letter to Congress asking members to dedicate funding towards the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion maintenance backlog during the sixth annual National Infrastructure Week May 14 – 21. The support comes as the National Park Service’s (NPS) deferred maintenance ballooned from $11.3 to $11.6 billion in 2017.

“Rebuilding and fixing the National Park System will help to employ thousands of American workers, support continued tourism and economic development in hundreds of park gateway communities, and ensure that our national treasures are preserved for generations to come,” the letter reads. It is signed by 40 national organizations and groups from 25 other states in addition to Florida. The Florida organizations include:

American Institute of Architects – Florida Chapter
American Planning Association – Florida Chapter
American Society of Landscape Architects – Florida Chapter
Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida, Inc.
Associated Builders & Contractors – Florida Chapter
Florida Engineering Society
Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society
Florida Transportation Builders Association
National Association of Women in Construction – Greater Palm Beaches
National Association of Women in Construction – Tampa Chapter #36
Suncoast Utility Contractors Association 

A recent analysis commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts and prepared by Cadmus Group shows that investing in the maintenance of the National Park System, whose sites in Florida welcomed over 10 million visitors in 2017, could create or support more than 2,467 jobs here in the state and 110,169 jobs across the country.

The 2017 study, "Restoring Parks, Creating Jobs: How Infrastructure Restoration in the National Park System Can Create or Support Jobs," outlines the number of potential direct, indirect and induced jobs if Congress funded the estimated $11.3 billion (FY ’16) in deferred maintenance across the park system.

This includes fixing crumbling roads, deteriorating historic buildings, impassable trails, and outdated utility systems, all of which negatively impact visitor access and safety, the protection of our nation’s history, and local communities that depend on park visitation for economic survival. 

From Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola to Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of Key West, visitors to national park sites in Florida in 2017 spent $613 million in the parks’ gateway communities, helping to support 8,960 jobs and providing Florida an economic boost of $904 million. The estimated maintenance backlog in Florida is $262.2 million.  

A copy of the letter with the national and Florida signatories is available below.

 

Re-Building our National Parks

Yosemite National Park

Dear Member of Congress:

As engineers, architects, planners, landscape architects, and trade and professional associations, we are deeply aware of the need to maintain our nation’s infrastructure, including the roads, trails, historic structures, and visitor centers that make safe, memorable, and learning experiences out of travelling to America’s national parks.  

Unfortunately, after decades of unreliable funding, the National Park Service (NPS) has an infrastructure repair backlog estimated at $11.6 billion (FY 2017), half of which consists of roads, bridges, and tunnels. Without these amenities, visitors would be hindered in getting to special places like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, and Little Round Top at Gettysburg National Military Park. Deferred maintenance affects almost every national park site across the country, and includes crucial repairs to aging buildings and historical structures, electrical, water, mechanical, and plumbing systems, and other infrastructure that is vital to keeping parks accessible and safe for visitors.   

A recent study indicates that investment in NPS’ maintenance backlog has the potential to create or support over 110,000 quality jobs in the infrastructure industry. These jobs could likely benefit contractors, manufacturers, and tradespeople located in communities adjacent to national parks and in surrounding areas. We urge you to provide dedicated annual federal funding to address deferred maintenance in national parks and to ensure that NPS receives significant resources for deferred maintenance in any potential national infrastructure proposal. 

Rebuilding and fixing the National Park System will help to employ thousands of American workers, support continued tourism and economic development in hundreds of park gateway communities, and ensure that our national treasures are preserved for generations to come.  

Sincerely,

National Signatories

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

Construction Specifications Institute

American Coatings Association

Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association

American Concrete Institute

Engineering Contractors Association

American Concrete Institute Foundation

Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc.

American Concrete Pipe Association

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association

Land Improvement Contractors of America

American Council of Engineering Companies

Mechanical Contractors Association of America

American Foundry Society

National Asphalt Pavement Association

American Institute of Architects

National Association of Minority Contractors

American Planning Association

National Association of Women in Construction

American Segmental Bridge Institute

National Electrical Contractors Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

National Precast Concrete Association

American Society of Landscape Architects

National Utility Contractors Association

American Supply Association

Painting and Decorating Contractors of America

Associated General Contractors of America

Portland Cement Association

Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

Concrete Foundations Association

Professional TrailBuilders Association

Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute

Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association

Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition

Tilt-Up Concrete Association

Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality

United Steelworkers (USW)

 

Photo: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Press Release compiled by On 3 PR