Federal Highways Administration approves emergency release funds to help repair flood damaged roads and bridges
U.S. FOREST SERVICE CUSTER GALLATIN NATIONAL FOREST
BOZEMAN — The Custer Gallatin National Forest, USDA Forest Service is pleased to receive confirmation on initial emergency funding for the $5.7 million-dollar package submitted last week for Emergency Relief of Federally Owned Roads Program through Federal Highways. The “quick release” of emergency relief funds will help to repair critical ingress and egress routes damaged in the June floods across the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
“The funding is a crucial step on the path to recovery for the Custer Gallatin and for the communities that surround and call this Forest home,” said Mary Erickson, Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor. “An estimated 58 roads and 21 bridges were impacted on the Forest with many remaining impassable, washed out or substantially damaged. The Forest will direct this funding to the critical transportation access needs of Mill Creek, West Rosebud Creek, East Rosebud Creek, West Fork Rock Creek and the Main Fork of Rock Creek.”
An additional $22.5 million is estimated in damage across the Forest outside of immediate transportation needs and the Forest will be seeking additional opportunities for funding. Further ground-based recreation and backcountry site assessments continue with a handful of backcountry bridges confirmed as washed out on the Gardiner Ranger District.
“As we move into the height of backpacking and hiking season, it is essential for recreationists to call and inquire about conditions as well as evaluate their route for safety along the way. Some of the damage has been assessed but gathering complete information across the landscape will take more time,” said Adam Washebek, Recreation Program Manager for the Gardiner Ranger District.
“Recovery has already begun with Forest Service Fishing Access Sites outside of Gardiner opening Friday including McConnell, Cinnabar and Yankee Jim. Our sister Forest, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Road Engineering crew has been able to devote significant time, energy and resources to those three Fishing Access Sites this past week,” Washebek continued. The crew is working on critical access needs to the East Rosebud Creek Road on the Beartooth Ranger District this week before returning home.