Repairwork on Wildlife Drive at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway will begin next Monday, Jan. 14, and is expected to last for several months, refuge officials announced Monday morning, Jan. 7.
Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig said Wildlife Drive, which has been closed since October, should be open to visitors come spring. The refuge was forced to close Wildlife Drive when Superstorm Sandy created large holes in its top and sides.
The project is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration through the Emergency Relief to Federally Owned Roads program, according to refuge officials.
“We are fortunate that this program from the Federal Highway Administration is available,” Rettig said. “The Wildlife Drive receives about 100,000 visitors annually. People come to enjoy some of the most outstanding wildlife observation and photography opportunities available anywhere.”
Wagman Construction Inc., based out of York, Pa., will handle the project, officials said. Wagman is the company that constructed the Route 52 Causeway in Ocean City, and will hire local operators for the project. Officials expect the project to produce 25 jobs.
Wildlife Drive will remain closed during construction, but most adjacent trails will be open to foot access from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., officials said. The visitor information center will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on winter weekends.
All admission fees have been temporarily waived, officials said.
Updates on refuge status may be found on the refuge Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ForsytheNWR. For more information, contact the refuge at (609) 652-1665 or visit www.fws.gov/northeast/forsythe/ .