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State flags' bridge

CROWN POINT The Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point has received a yellow flag following a state inspection. The state Bridge Task Force released a report Dec. 27 that detailed inspections of New Yorks 49 deck truss bridges. All the bridges were deemed safe, but 20 of the bridges were flagged in the two rounds of inspections including one red flag. Eighteen bridges received one or more yellow flags and 11 bridges received safety flags. The Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point received one yellow flag for concrete deterioration at a pier bearing. Following the Aug. 1 collapse of a deck truss bridge in Minneapolis, Gov. Eliot Spitzer ordered inspections of all similarly designed bridges in New York within 30 days. Visual inspections were conducted and a report was issued. In December there were hands-on evaluations that allowed inspectors to touch and test the bridge parts they were checking. No major problems were found, but inspectors did find some deficiencies which means the bridges are in need of work but arent in danger of imminent collapse. Inspectors documented those deficiencies with written flags. Red flags signify conditions involving key structural components requiring immediate evaluation and corrective action; yellow flags identify less critical conditions that will likely get worse unless corrected. Safety flags indicate conditions that present safety hazards but arent structural problems and will need to be inspected annually until the problems are corrected. An advisory committee is now working with state officials on a plan for the rehabilitation or replacement of the Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point. Local representatives on that committee include Deb Malaney, executive director of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Ed Alfuldish of International Paper Co.s Ticonderoga mill, Crown Point Supervisor Dale French and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. Construction on the span, which links New York and Vermont, is scheduled to begin in 2012, according to the New York State Department of Transportation. Whether the bridge will be repaired or replaced is yet to be determined. The NYSDOT has set a preliminary budget of $40 million for the project. Built in 1929, the half-mile, two-lane bridge is owned by New York and Vermont. Project costs will be split between the two states. The bridge was last rehabilitated in 1991. Construction work included painting steel and bearing exteriors, repairing pier surfaces, and replacing the bridge deck, joints and railings.

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