North Country
3:56 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

White Mountain National Forest Gets $4 Million - But Still Falls Short For Irene Repairs

 

The White Mountain National Forest will be getting $4 million in federal funds to repair road and bridge damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.  But that will still leave the enormous recreational area well short of what it needs, an official said.

It is still a bit of good news for the economy of the North Country.

Some of the work will be done by WMNF crews but help from outside contractors will be needed, said Tiffany Benna, a spokeswoman for the WMNF.

The money is available from the Federal Highway Administration, said spokesman Doug Hecox.

“It is a wonderful amount of money coming in,” said Benna.

But last September WMNF officials estimated the storm had done about $10 million to $11 million in damage.

Some money was available last year but Benna said even with the additional $4 million the WMNF is only about halfway to what it needs.

“There is a large portion that is currently not funded and with declining budgets we are not sure it will come through,” she said.

Because the money is coming from the Federal Highway Administration it is focused on roads and bridges, not trails.

Benna estimated it will fund about 25 projects. Some of them are the Camp Dodge Bridge; Hastings Trail Bridge; East Branch Road Bridge; Rocky Branch Road Bridge; Wild River Road and East Branch Road.