A new bridge has two major advantages over a renovation project, French said. It would be cheaper and it would allow for continued traffic flow.
Because of its construction type, French said, the current bridge can't be repaired one lane at a time. It would have to be renovated while closed.
"Closing that bridge would create a state of emergency," French said. "We have shared emergency services across the lake, not to mention the economic impact."
A temporary "military-style" bridge could be used during a renovation project, he said. That would interfere with lake traffic, though.
Public information meetings will be scheduled during the project's design phase to provide an opportunity for community input.
The public can comment on the project by emailing r01-lakechamplainbridge @dot.state.ny.us, writing NYSDOT, Region One Design, 328 State Street, Schenectady 12305, Attn: James C. Boni, P.E., or calling 388-0200.