A $54 million grant application for repairs to the Colonial Parkway is waiting to be addressed by the National Parks Service — emphasis on the wait, because of the partial government shutdown.
After the NPS and the Federal Highway Administration did a study in 2014 that revealed most of the parkway’s roads were rated in poor condition, and the NPS started plans for a reconstruction project, according to the NPS website.
The Colonial Parkway was found to have areas with broken slabs, concrete spalling and other structural issues. With nearly four million motorists driving through the parkway each year, NPS saw a need for a reconstruction project.
In total, the project is estimated to cost $300 million and the $54 million grant would address an 11-mile stretch of the parkway.
The grant application was submitted under the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program at the Department of Transportation but until the government shutdown is lifted, a decision cannot be made.
The Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act which is aimed at rehabilitating and reconstructing nationally historic transportation services, according to the Office of Federal Lands Highway website.
Through the program, proposals with costs exceeding $50 million, such as the parkway’s grant, will receive priority consideration.
On Wednesday, Sen. Mark R. Warner addressed a bicameral letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support for approval of the grant.