The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced plans to transport and lift into place the center arch span of the new Lake Champlain Bridge this Thursday, August 25. The public will be able to watch the transport and lift, but some marine and vehicle traffic restrictions will be in place.
“The arch lift will provide clear and tangible evidence that we’re moving very close to reopening the Lake Champlain Bridge to the public,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. “This is an exciting and historic moment for the people in the region who heavily depend on the bridge for their livelihoods. I would like to extend my appreciation to them for their patience as we move forward toward the final phase of the project.”
NYSDOT expects the transport process to begin at sunrise on Thursday with lift work extending into the late afternoon or early evening that same day. The arch will be floated from its construction site at Velez Marine in Port Henry to the bridge site over a two- to four-hour period. The lift is expected to last between four and eight hours.
The main navigational channel through the center span will be closed as the arch is floated into position, lifted into place and secured. Marine traffic will be directed through an alternative navigational channel during this time period.
The ferry connecting New York State to Vermont will remain open and operational at all times during the work. However, higher than normal traffic levels near the bridge site may cause some highway traffic congestion.
For those interested in viewing the process, on the New York side, the Department of Environmental Conservation campground, Crown Point State Historic Site and Essex County Visitors Center will be open to the public. Free parking is available at the historic site. The DEC campground will charge an entrance fee.
However, parking is limited in these areas and no additional parking accommodations are available due to the need to keep New York Route 185, Vermont routes 17 and 125, and the ferry access roads passable at all times.
The lift can also be viewed by visiting NYSDOT’s Lake Champlain Bridge webcam page at: https://www.nysdot.gov/lakechamplainbridge/bridgecam. The webcam takes periodic still shots of the construction site.
The operation could be postponed or delayed due to excessive winds or lightning.