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Demolition-related activity reported around closed bridge

ADDISON, Vt. - Employees of an Idaho demolition company have been reported in the Town of Addison in preparation for disassembling the Lake Champlain Bridge between Addison and Crown Point.

A local business owner told The Eagle on Wednesday that workers from AED, Advanced Explosives Demolition, are searching for housing in the area. It is unknown if a contract has been signed with the firm. New York and Vermont authorities have been silent on the project for several days.

A resident living near the bridge also told The Eagle that she spoke with AED employees and they reported that a video crew from the Learning Channel, a national cable-television network, will be on hand to document the implosion of the 80-year-old span across Lake Champlain.

According to Lisa Cloutier, owner of the popular Bridge Restaurant located at the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge in Addison, she will be forced to close her business on Dec. 24; she will not reopen the business until the ferry opens which, she fears, will be in spring.

"I just can't keep my doors open much longer," Cloutier said. "We were supposed to have a ferry running here by early December, then it was mid December, now it's-who knows? I've owned and operated this business since 1998 and I've never seen business this bad."

Last week, The Eagle reported its confidential communication with a business owner located near the bridge and how a UVM archeologist, working with VTrans, was "slowing down" the Vermont side of the new ferry project causing more angst and frustration among local businesses and residents

Calls to VTrans and the archeologist's office were not returned to either confirm or refute the business owner's report.

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