Governors break ground for new Champlain Bridge, ferry to keep running

first_imgVermont Governor Jim Douglas and New York State Governor David A. Paterson today broke ground on a new Lake Champlain Bridge spanning the lake between Crown Point, New York, and Addison, Vermont. The governors were joined at the site of the approach to the former bridge by state and local elected officials, local business leaders and community members to officially kick-off the start of construction of the new bridge. Those who live and work in the area surrounding the Lake Champlain Bridge share family, friends and business relationships on both sides of the lake, Governor Douglas said. The ease and timeliness of transportation across Lake Champlain is critical to their way of life and economy. Everyone involved in this bridge project should be commended for getting us to this point so quickly.    Breaking ground on the new Lake Champlain Bridge is an important step in reconnecting our two states and restoring this critical link for commerce, tourism, employment, education and medical services, Governor Paterson said. I am proud to have worked closely with Governor Douglas to expedite this project, and commend the elected officials, community members and respective transportation officials for their efforts to work together toward a solution. The new bridge will be built at the same location as the previous structure in order to minimize historic and environmental impacts on the surrounding area. Construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in September 2011.The Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge will be a steel structure with an arch along the center span. Steel used will be treated for enhanced corrosion resistance. Multiple redundancies in the design make this bridge a safe structure that will have at least a 75-year service life. Bridge components are designed to be easily replaceable to reduce maintenance costs. Travel lanes will be 11 feet wide, with five-foot shoulders that will help accommodate larger trucks and farm vehicles, as well as provide ample room for bicyclists. Sidewalks will be built on both sides of the bridge.Flatiron Constructors, Inc. of Boulder, Colorado was awarded the contract to build the new bridge. While Flatiron will bring a core team of approximately a dozen managers, there will be many jobs for local workers with the appropriate qualifications.New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee said: Today signifies progress in reestablishing a permanent transportation link between New York and Vermont across Lake Champlain. During the last eight months, we have listened to the public and worked hard to deliver the design for a beautiful new bridge that pays full respect to both the historic and park setting of the surroundings while working at a record pace. We intend to keep up this pace during the construction of the new bridge.Vermont Agency of Transportation Secretary David Dill said: Design of the new bridge started almost immediately once it was determined that the old bridge could not be saved. The effort represents a massive undertaking by Vermont, New York, the federal government and the bridge s architect HNTB to design, engineer and permit the new bridge in only a few short months.The new bridge design was selected following significant outreach through public meetings and an online survey, which found strong community support for replacing the bridge with the Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge. This option was also supported by the bridge s Public Advisory Committee. Public preference was one of many factors considered as New York and Vermont chose the replacement bridge design and played a significant role in the final determination.The former Lake Champlain Bridge was closed last October after significant cracking was found in the structure s support piers and was demolished in December. (see demolition click HERE) New York and Vermont worked quickly to subsidize existing ferry service, and to establish free express bus service between New York and three major employers in Vermont, and shuttle bus service between several New York park-and-ride locations and the ferries.Additionally, a 24-hour, free, temporary ferry was opened in February, drastically cutting commuting time between New York and Vermont and effectively reestablishing commerce and emergency service along the corridor. Located immediately south of the former bridge, the temporary ferry, operated by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, will continue to run until the new bridge is opened to traffic.In business since 1947, Flatiron has extensive experience building major interstate bridges all across the United States and in western Canada. The company rebuilt the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, following its tragic collapse in 2007. Flatiron has received numerous awards in recent years from some of the largest and most respected trade industries in the United States, including the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Society of Civil Engineers.Source: Douglas’ office. 6.11.2010###last_img

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