— The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more than $240 million in construction projects that have been postponed because the money has not been allocated.

Park spokesman Brent Everitt told WBIR-TV the park headquarters is more than 75 years old and needs a lot of upgrades, but a planned $7 million rehabilitation has been continually put off for about 25 years.

Next door, the Sugarlands Visitor Center needs $24 million so it can be torn down and completely rebuilt to handle the million tourists who go through its doors each year.

Another $180 million of repairs are needed for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure such as bathrooms.

— The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation says it will fund $600,000 worth of high-priority projects this year.

The foundation’s annual project list includes preservation of old growth Carolina hemlock trees along the parkway, a biological survey of Rock Castle Gorge in Virginia and construction of a pedestrian bridge spanning Boone Fork Creek near Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Associated Press