New Lake Champlain Bridge opens for traffic

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New Lake Champlain Bridge opens for traffic

Mon, 11/07/2011 - 11:44am -- tim

Less than two years after the old Champlain Bridge was imploded on a snowy day just after Christmas 2009, the new Lake Champlain Bridge was opened to traffic about 3:30 this afternoon. 

Photos, from top: Vintage automobiles from the era of the opening of the old bridge are the first to make their away across the new bridge. Some of the "29ers." Governor Shumlin speaks and then officials cut the ceremonial ribbon. Dignitaries and others walk the bridge on foot. The new bridge. Photos by John Boutin, Vermont Business Magazine.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy presided over the ribbon cutting, which took place on the New York side of the bridge. They chose to walk the length of the bridge following the ceremony. The first cars over the bridge were vintage autos, as part of a special recognition of the "29ers," those who were at the ribbon cutting of the old bridge in 1929.
The old Champlain Bridge was demolished December 28, 2009, after strucutral problems with the concrete footings first appeared the previous summer. Bridge traffic was first reduced to one-lane before it was closed in October and further inspection led engineers to conclude that the bridge needed to be removed. Free ferry service at the Chimney Point (West Addison, VT)/Crown Point, NY, crossing has been used as a substitute for commuters while the bridge has been out.
Construction on the new bridge began June 11, 2010. The estimated cost for the entire project was put at $75 million in 2010. The Lake Champlain Bridge (LCB) construction contract (NYSDOT Contract D261458) was awarded to Flatiron Construction Corporation on May 27, 2010, for $69.6 million. The contract is being administered and managed by NYSDOT Region 1. The contract provides for the construction of the new LCB and approaches, as well as the removal of the waterside portions of the temporary ferry facilities in both States after the bridge is complete and open to traffic. Additionally, the landside portions of the temporary ferry facilities will be removed and the NYSDEC Campground, Crown Point Historic Site and the Chimney Point Historic Site properties will be restored to their original condition in 2012. 
The ribbon cutting for the new bridge was announced only last Thursday. New York State is the manager of the bridge construction, though both states share in the cost of its construction. 

 
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Arch for new Champlain Bridge lifted into place
Fri Aug 26 2011
Workers today began the process of transport and lifting into place the center arch span of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. A webcam showing the event (click HERE or see link below) offers still photos of the event. As of 2 pm Friday, August 26, the center arch was being positioned between the existing spans for installation. The first photo is of the final placement.