New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee and Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill today announced that the states will not explore the crossing between Putnam, Washington County, N.Y., and Chipman's Point, Addison County, Vt., as a potential temporary bridge site. The states also advised motorists, pedestrians and boaters to avoid the closed Lake Champlain Bridge as a safety hazard.
"I have heard the residents loud and clear that any temporary bridge or temporary ferry service absolutely must be located in the vicinity of the Lake Champlain Bridge corridor, as close as is feasible and safe," Acting Commissioner Gee said. "I am fully aware of how much this bridge closure has disrupted people's lives and we will continue working to find a safe location for a temporary bridge to cross Lake Champlain in the Crown Point area."
Secretary Dill added: "Survey crews are exploring locations on both sides of the lake and both south and north of the closed bridge searching for not only a temporary bridge location, but also a location from which we can establish a temporary ferry service that can be put into place until a temporary bridge can be erected. We are working seven days a week with the goal of getting people's lives back to as close to normal as quickly as we can."
The current 2,184-foot-long bridge spanning Lake Champlain between Crown Point and Chimney Point was closed earlier this month after piers supporting the bridge were found to be severely deteriorated. Citizens are asked to keep a clear distance from the bridge.
Acting Commissioner Gee said, "Under no circumstances should those in vehicles, on foot or boating in Lake Champlain travel under, on or near the structure. In the next few days, the water approaching and immediately underneath the bridge will be buoyed off to prevent boat access and warning signs will be posted. Although department personnel will continue to analyze the bridge, the structure is not safe for citizens. Once winter arrives and the lake freezes, individuals should not travel across the ice in vehicles or by foot."