By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV's New Hampshire Bureau Chief

LINCOLN, NH – As “leaf peeping” season kicks off in the White Mountains, state officials and local businesses are proud to announce all major roads are open.

That includes the famed Kancamagus Highway. Route 302 through Hart’s Location will open Saturday. The news comes as fall colors start to pop in the mountain regions.

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“If we had lost the fall foliage season in New Hampshire it would’ve been devastating to our economy,” said Gov. John Lynch. He and tourism officials rode a bus down “The Kanc” to see the progress.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

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After Hurricane Irene huge chunks of the road were crumbled and most of the highway had to be shut down. Lynch set an aggressive schedule for repairs, telling DOT officials he wanted it open by September 15th.

“They worked round the clock and the workers are the ones who deserve all the credit for getting this road open,” Lynch said.

Leaf season is a one billion dollar industry in New Hampshire. The Kancamagus and Rt. 302 are key roads for tourists.

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Loon Mountain Resort sits along the highway. Owner Rick Kelley says if the road had been closed it would have been devastating. He was grateful to the workers who got it re-opened and was proud to declare his resort and other nearby spots are “open for business.”