Sep 12, 2015 1:50 PM
Plan to remove damaged bridge causes stir in White Mountains
The Associated Press
LINCOLN — A proposal to remove a bridge over the North Fork of the Pemigewasset River is causing concern among hikers and policymakers.
The 60-foot-long Thoreau Falls Bridge was damaged by 2011's Tropical Storm Irene. Since then, the National Forest Service has posted signs warning hikers to go over it one at a time.
The Forest Service's Dan Abbe says engineers said the log span can't be repaired. Federal rules make it hard to put man-made structures in wilderness areas so officials would have to justify building a new bridge.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is urging the service to repair or replace it. She says removal would put hikers at risk if they tried to ford the river, could delay rescue efforts and would hurt tourism.
A decision could come in November.