Park Roads and Parkways (PRP)

The Park Roads and Parkways Program (PRP) provided funding for the design, construction, reconstruction, maintenance, or improvement of refuge roads and bridges that provide access to or are within a unit of the National Park Service (NPS). PRP funds were used for any type of Title 23 transportation project providing access to or within NPS lands and could be used for the State/local matching share for apportioned Federal-aid Highway Funds, as described in 23 USC 120(l). The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) and the NPS jointly administered the Refuge Roads (RR) Program as part of the Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP).

PRP Program was eliminated under MAP-21. All projects previously authorized under the PRP Program will still be administered under previous rules and regulations of the PRP Program.

Background

In 1926, with the vision to construct a road across the continental divide in Glacier National Park (later to be called Going to the Sun Highway), the NPS and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), formerly the Bureau of Public Roads, forged an agreement that is a model of multi-professional and interagency collaboration that lives on today.

The NPS manages over 380 units in 49 states and 3 territories.  Combined, these units include over 8,500 miles of roads, of which approximately 5,500 miles are paved; 1,414 bridges and 63 tunnels; 110 Alternative Transportation Systems in 96 Park units; and 12,250 miles of trails.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) authorized the following amounts:

  • $180,000,000 for fiscal year 2005
  • $195,000,000 for fiscal year 2006
  • $210,000,000 for fiscal year 2007
  • $225,000,000 for fiscal year 2008
  • $240,000,000 for fiscal year 2009
  • $240,000,000 for fiscal year 2010
  • $240,000,000 for fiscal year 2011

Period of Availability

In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 204(b), PRP funds shall remain available for obligation for three years after the last day of the fiscal year in which the project was authorized. Therefore, un-authorized funds will lapse at the end of federal fiscal year 2015.

Federal Share

In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 204(b), the Federal share of the costs for any project eligible under this program was 100 percent.

Obligation Limitation

The PRP funds were subject to obligation limitation; however, 100 percent obligation authority is provided with the allocation of funds for the selected projects. The obligation limitation reduces the available funding for the program under the provisions of SAFETEA-LU Section 1119(h).

Eligibility

In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(5), the PRP funds were available for "any kind of transportation project eligible for assistance under Title 23, United States Code, that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to" NPS lands. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(1)(A), the PRP funds are available for transportation planning, research, engineering, and construction of Forest Highways. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(1)(B), the PRP funds are also available for operation and maintenance of transit facilities located in National Parks.

Under 23 U.S.C. 204(h), eligible projects under the PRP program may also include the following:

  • Transportation planning for tourism and recreational travel, including the National Forest Scenic Byways Program, Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways Program, National Trail System Program, and other similar Federal programs that benefit recreational development.
  • Adjacent vehicular parking areas.
  • Interpretive signage.
  • Acquisition of necessary scenic easements and scenic or historic sites.
  • Provision for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Construction and reconstruction of roadside rest areas, including sanitary and water facilities.
  • Other appropriate public road facilities such as visitor centers as determined by the Secretary.
  • A project to build a replacement of the federally owned bridge over the Hoover Dam in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area between Nevada and Arizona.

Selection Criteria

Projects were selected by the NPS and approved by the FLH. No legislative formula was established for allocating funds. The formula for distributing the PRP funding between the NPS Regions was based on inventory of roads and bridges, deficient miles, traffic volume, and accidents.

FHWA Headquarters Program Office Contact

Joris Torres
Park Roads and Parkways Program Coordinator
Federal Lands Highway Office
Phone: (202) 366-4558
Email: jorismar.torres@dot.gov