Champlain Bridge project: Renovation or replacement?

CROWN POINT - The aging Champlain Bridge that connects Crown Point with Vermont will be renovated or replaced beginning in 2013.

The New York State Department of Transportation has announced it has reached an agreement with the Vermont Agency of Transportation on a $50.1 million project.

That's goods news, Crown Point Supervisor Dale French said.

"It's not in great shape," French said of the span. "There are some huge loads - 100,000 pounds - that cross that bridge every day. It looks bad, but I guess it's safe. The state keeps checking it."

The bridge is owned by both New York and Vermont, although New York has been entrusted with the bridge's maintenance. Under a prior agreement, the two states will share the cost of rehabilitation or replacement.

"The project is in a preliminary planning stage," DOT spokesman Peter Van Keuren said. "Construction is tentatively planned to begin in 2013."

HTNB Corporation of New York City has been selected as design consultant. Options include rehabilitation or replacement of the existing bridge.

The 80-year-old bridge accommodates approximately 3,400 vehicles each day.

The existing structure is a combination of a thru-truss, deck-truss and deck plate girders measuring 2,184 feet in length on 14 spans.

The bridge received a "yellow flag" from the state in 2007 indicating it was in need of repair. Repairs to the bridge were completed in late 2008, and included removing loose concrete, doweling reinforcement into existing concrete and pouring new concrete pier caps. The "yellow flag" designation has since been removed.

One of the first tasks the HTNB Corporation will complete is an evaluation of the existing structure to determine the feasibility of rehabilitating the bridge, including cost of the work and

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potential impacts to motorists, according to a DOT statement. All options will be identified and evaluated and public input will be solicited before progressing a particular alternative.

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