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New Champlain Bridge opening set for Monday afternoon

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Posted on November 7, 2011 |
By John Flowers



bridge5511.jpg
WORKERS PUT SOME finishing touches on the new Lake Champlain Bridge last week. The bridge was scheduled to open Monday afternoon during a ceremony with Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

WEST ADDISON  — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has confirmed that the new Champlain Bridge connecting West Addison to Crown Point, N.Y., will be officially opened on Monday, Nov. 7, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m., on the Crown Point side.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy are scheduled to be among those attending the festivities.

The Lake Champlain Bridge Community group is planning a more elaborate celebration of the bridge opening for next May.

The new $70 million bridge replaces the former span, erected in 1929 and closed on Oct. 16, 2009, after an inspection revealed serious structural deterioration. Contractors imploded the bridge on Dec. 28, 2009, to hasten the way to a new span. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) picked Flatiron Construction to build the new bridge, a modified tied-arch design that has come to fruition quickly in recent months following some weather-related setbacks.

A ferry service has been taking vehicles across the lake while the new bridge has been under construction. That service will stop on Monday with the opening of the span, a Cuomo spokesperson said on Friday.

“The opening of a new bridge over Lake Champlain is great news for residents and businesses in the North Country who depend upon this bridge and have been inconvenienced by its closure,” Cuomo said in a statement Thursday. “When the bridge was closed and demolished in 2009, it was estimated to take eight years to rebuild. I am pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work and dedication of our federal, state, and local partners, the bridge is opening far earlier than planned. Today's announcement demonstrates that government can work effectively and efficiently for the people. I thank the New York State Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and our partners in Vermont for their assistance in building this bridge, which will help revitalize local economies and strengthen the relationship between our two states.”

A post on the Lake Champlain Bridge Coalition’s Facebook page reads, “IT'S OFFICIAL!!!!!!! The news we’ve been waiting to hear! The ribbon-cutting for the new bridge will be this Monday, Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m.!!!!! No details are available yet, but we will post them as soon as we have them. Many, many thanks to Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin’s office and Vermont Agency of Transportation for keeping us in the loop when no one else would.”

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