Lake Champlain Region Marketing Manager, Suzanne Maye said that many people in the Crown Point area rely on the bridge to commute to their jobs in Vermont.
The next closest crossing is in Whitehall, which is 30 miles away and the closest year-round ferry is in Essex, but it only runs once an hour and ferry expenses add up quickly when you use it every day, Maye said.
She estimates that about 3,500 cars cross the bridge each day, which is more than the population of most of the surrounding towns. Suzanne also thinks it would be a shame to see the bridge replaced with a more modern-looking structure. The bridge mimics the landscape of the gently rolling hills we have here. Its just beautiful.
Steven Englehart of Adirondack Architectural Heritage would like to see the bridge rehabilitated. We have to remind people that it is a regional landmark as well as a transportation link to Vermont and a part of civil engineering history. Adirondack Architectural Heritage is a private non-profit preservation organization which has been successful in preserving other area bridges in the towns of Jay and Hadley.
Bridges are the most widely threatened historic structures, he said, because they are out in the elements.
No matter what the New York State Department of Transportation decides to do about the Lake Champlain Bridge, for now it remains a Champlain Valley icon and gateway to the Adirondack Park. To learn more about the push for the rehabilitation of the Lake Champlain Bridge, contact Steven Englehart at 834-9328 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Sackett is communications director for the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau.