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Bridge construction will bring jobs

CROWN POINT - Help Wanted: Labors to assist in the construction of the Lake Champlain Bridge.

The $69.6 million project to reconnect New York and Vermont is expected to create at least 200 jobs for local workers, according to officials.

Flatiron Constructors of Colorado, the firm building the span, expects to hire about 50 local workers along with another 150-200 subcontractors.

Mark Mallett, Flatiron project manager, said a construction headquarters is being established on the Vermont side of the lake. Interested workers can apply there.

The federal government will pay 80 percent of the bridge construction cost, using stimulus money. New York and Vermont will each pay 10 percent of the cost.

The groundbreaking June 11 attracted two U.S. congressmen, both of whom touted the jobs to be created by the project.

"This will help create jobs in communities that desperately need them," U.S. Rep. Bill Owens said. "I hope to see many people from my side of the lake, from my district, hired to work here.

"I am pleased to see progress being made on the new bridge across Lake Champlain," he added. "This is the next step in the process towards helping our local communities recover from the economic impact of the bridge closure. I'm hoping this will create employment opportunities for those looking for jobs in the area."

U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy agreed the bridge is vital to the local economy.

"I am honored to be here as we begin to rebuild this critical part of our local economy," Murphy said. "The loss of the bridge suddenly and severely reduced economic activity throughout the region. I look forward to continuing to work with Governors (David) Paterson and (Jim) Douglas to connect our two states and rebuild this entryway to the North Country."

The economic impact of the construction will reach beyond jobs, New York Gov. David Paterson said.

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