- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Officials at Carlsbad Caverns National Park say the southern New Mexico tourist attraction has a maintenance backlog of more than $44 million and about half of that is related to elevator renovations.

Carlsbad Superintendent Doug Neighbor said Wednesday that funding provided by Congress for this fiscal year will help with the work.

According to a warning on the park’s website, the elevators are still out of commission, meaning visitors who want to reach the underground have to travel through the natural entrance - a steep 750-foot descent and ascent.

The National Parks Service detailed its nationwide maintenance backlog earlier this month. The total bill is nearly $12 billion - a $440 million increase over last year.

The backlog includes work on roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails and campgrounds.

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