$802,500 for reconstruction of 2.3 miles of Mauna Loa Observatory Road
Road projects on federal lands in four states will receive $3.04 million from the Federal Highway Administration to improve access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced today.
“The roads that carry America to and through its national forests and parks, tribal lands and other federal lands need help, just like the rest of our nation’s highway system,” said Secretary Foxx. “These funds are an important investment to rehabilitate roads vital to preserving the high quality of life for the communities they serve.”
The funds, which come from the FHWA’s Public Lands Highways Discretionary program, will reconstruct the road to an observatory in Hawaii critical to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the funds will help make improvements to parking facilities and trails in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, and to rebuild nearly four miles of Montana’s SH 569 and four miles of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) roads near Tellico Plains, Tenn.
“At a time when states are facing serious budgetary challenges, these grants will help fill a critical need,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Investments like these are immediate, long-lasting and will help create jobs.”
Unlike most of the nation’s public roads, which are managed by state departments of transportation, federal lands roads are maintained by various tribal and federal agencies. Funds from the Public Lands Highways Discretionary program supplement their existing infrastructure programs. They can also be used for cities and counties that are responsible for the roads providing access to federal and tribal lands.
Importantly, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, would build on current support for public and tribal lands, including creating a new program to support construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of large, nationally significant transportation infrastructure within or accessing federal or tribal lands, including national parks and forests.