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Lake bridge: One year later, progress!

Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee today marked the one year anniversary of the Lake Champlain Bridge closure on Oct. 16, 2009, noting the significant progress made to provide travelers, especially those located in the vicinity of the bridge and dependent on transportation across the lake in their daily lives, with a link across Lake Champlain between Crown Point, N.Y., and Addison, Vt.

Now the temporary ferry service is still in place providing round-the-clock transportation across the lake at no cost to passengers, and the underwater structures for the new bridge are nearly completed.

Immediately following the bridge's closure, New York and Vermont reached out to the surrounding communities through a series of public meetings to gather feedback and solicit input from residents and business owners on both sides of the lake. The states quickly began implementing the communities' clear vision for restoring the corridor with a temporary ferry in the vicinity of the bridge and a brand new Lake Champlain Bridge at the same location. Community participation was crucial to choosing the site for the temporary ferry and for picking the design of the replacement bridge.

VTrans Secretary Dill said "Opening the temporary ferry as quickly as possible was key to restoring the lives of both New Yorkers and Vermonters back to as close to normal as possible given the circumstances, and I am heartened at to hear from both residents and business owners that family life and economic vitality on both sides of the lake has rebounded significantly since the first ferry set sail. But as welcome as the ferry has been, we also realize that nothing short of opening the new bridge will completely restore our communities. To that end, everyone can rest assured that bridge construction will continue nonstop through the winter so that we can reestablish this vital economic, social and public-safety link as quickly as possible."

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