Farewell to an architectural icon

Editor's Note: Wikipedia, the internationally award-winning Internet encyclopedia, has just updated and expanded its summary of the historic 80-year-old Champlain Bridge in its final moments before demolition. Several Vermont and New York writers and historians have contributed to this unique wiki sourcework on the bridge. The Eagle, with Wikipedia's permission, presents this look at our region's most visible 20th-century architectural icon. Farewell, old friend. You served us well.

The Champlain Bridge, also known as the Crown Point Bridge, was a vehicular bridge in the United States that traversed Lake Champlain between Crown Point, N.Y., and Chimney Point, Vt. It was one of only two bridges that connected New York to Vermont by crossing Lake Champlain; all other transport across the lake between the two states is by ferry. The bridge connected Route 185 in New York to Vermont 17 in Vermont. The half-mile, two-lane, continuous truss bridge was jointly owned and maintained by the New York State Department of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

The bridge opened to traffic on Aug. 26, 1929, as a toll span at a cost of $1 million; the tolls were removed in 1987. The bridge was closed due to safety concerns in October 2009 and will be demolished and replaced. Removal of the existing bridge will be accomplished by explosive demolition, and is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m.

The bridge crossed Lake Champlain at a point 12 miles (19 km) north of Ticonderoga, N.Y., and 32 miles (51 km) south of Burlington. It connected Route 185 in Crown Point, to Route 17 in Chimney Point. The bridge was one of only two that links New York and Vermont by crossing the lake; the other, located near the Canada-United States border, carries U.S. Route 2 from Rouses Point to Alburgh.

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