Grand Canyon National Park Needs Millions of Dollars in Repairs

National parks in Arizona, and all of the country, need countless repairs. The repairs in Arizona would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The backlog is challenging the park service because it’s over 100 years old – as Arizona certainly knows, having just celebrated the Grand Canyon’s 100th birthday – and the facilities are deteriorating with age,” said Marcia Argust, project director for the Restore America’s Parks campaign of the Pew Charitable Trust.

The campaign is attempting to push Congress to increase funding for park maintenance.

The massive repairs “need to be addressed, because the parks are a big economic driver in the state,” she said.

“Over 13 million visitors come to the state each year to see the 24 park units in Arizona, and they are spending over $1 billion in local communities.”

That parks support nearly 17,000 jobs in Arizona.

“So it’s very important that that Arizona members of Congress work to pass legislation to address the deferred maintenance backlog, and that’s a really smart investment, economically as well as preserving our resources,” she said.

Roads, trails, water, sewage systems, and outdated visitor centers are included in the items that need to be repaired.

One of the parks that needs work is Grand Canyon National Park.

“The cost to address all the repairs in the Grand Canyon are over $300 million. A chunk of that is for the water line, which is … almost 70 years old. That 16-mile pipeline is the source of drinking water for the 6 million visitors that come to the park each year.”

The 16- mile pipeline breaks 12 to 20 times a year, and Argust says it will cost $100 million to repair.

More than 3,000 of local officials and organizations have been urging Congress to address the maintenance issues with the parks.

“That list is very diverse. It includes local businesses and recreation groups, unions, contractors, engineering organizations, hotel and lodging associations,” she said.

“And Arizona has a very broad list of stakeholders who are pushing Congress to move on protecting our parks.”


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