Addressing the infrastructure issues on federal lands is one of the policy priorities for the RV industry. This topic was at the forefront of discussions during RVs Move America Week advocacy meetings, as well as additional discussions between the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) federal affairs team and key Senate and House Committees and the Administration.
RVIA News & Insights reported that before Congress left for August recess earlier this month, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and ranking member Tom Carper, D-Del., introduced, and unanimously voted out of committee a bipartisan bill, S.2302 America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), that would provide $287 billion over five years to update traditional transportation infrastructure that RVers travel on every day to get to their favorite destinations across the country.
Included in the bill is a 21% increase in funding for the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP). According to RVIA, the increase is significant because FLTP provides funds to federal land agencies for the purposes of repairing and updating roads, bridges and transportation systems within the parks and nearby gateway communities.
Additionally, the bill dedicates $50 million a year and authorizes an additional $300 million a year for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program designed to address exceptionally large repair projects, and requires the U.S. Forest Service to develop a national strategy to carry out the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program.
“Improving transportation assets in rural gateway communities and within the National Park System, including paved roads, parking lots, tunnels, and bridges, presents an extraordinary bipartisan opportunity to boost the safety, enjoyment and educational benefits of America’s vast public lands while also supporting and expanding rural American jobs and our economy,” said RV Industry Association Director of Government Affairs Chris Bornemann. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to pass this important piece of legislation that will improve federal lands roads, bridges and campground infrastructure for all RVers to enjoy.”