"Until the bridge is demolished it is at risk of collapse, especially during high wind conditions and when temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit," said NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee. "Further, once we demolish the bridge, the entire area will be a construction zone as we remove and dismantle bridge sections from the lake's channel and shore. The public should be aware of their responsibility to stay clear of the area and put safety first when making recreational or travel plans in the region."
"Our first concern is the safety for both residents and first responders," said John R. Gibb, Director of the State Emergency Management Office. "Even in normal years, local responders are called to rescue folks. This is not a normal year. It has new challenges and that means people have to use common sense and keep safety in mind when planning their outdoor activities. We continue to work with DOT and other involved State agencies to ensure that first responders are able to serve the community throughout the demolition and construction phase of this project."
"No ice is safe ice," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Louis Coleman, officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Burlington. "A person who falls through the ice has an estimated survival time of 20 minutes. Because the response time near the Lake Champlain Bridge area is over an hour, chances of survival are slim at best should a person find himself in need of emergency assistance."