National Park Service seeks $54 million for Colonial Parkway repairs

Staff writer

The National Park Service has its eye on $54 million in federal grant money to fund repairs on more than 11 miles of the Colonial Parkway between Williamsburg and Yorktown.

The grant would help chip away at $420 million in deferred maintenance at Colonial National Historical Park, which also includes the Yorktown Battlefield and part of Jamestown Island, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

“The views along the Colonial Parkway continue to inspire, but the Parkway, designed and built between 1931 and 1957, is in desperate need of repair. The 50-year-old design life expired a generation ago for much of the Parkway. Significant rehabilitation and reconstruction are essential to preserve this scenic and historic drive for generations to come,” Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said in a joint letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao dated Jan. 8.

NPS submitted its grant application to the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects program, which is run by the Department of Transportation.The grant would fund replacement of concrete roadway slabs, drainage systems rehabilitation and the stabilization of roadway embankments on the York River. The project would extent the road’s useful life by more than 40 years, according to the Congress members’ letter.

The NPS submitted its grant application in December and anticipates a decision on whether the project is selected for funding in the spring, Colonial National Historic Park superintendent Kym Hall said in a text message.

The grant program provides federal funding to nationally significant projects for construction or repair of transportation facilities that provide access to federal or tribal lands. Congress appropriated $300 million for the program as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, according to the Federal Register, the federal government’s journal that contains public notices and government agency rules.

The Colonial Parkway, which is 23-mile scenic highway, links Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.

Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, jojacobs@vagazette.com, @jajacobs_

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