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Visitors react to pending arch-lift

Locals watch Flatiron workers in Port Henry

— NYSDOT expects the transport process to begin at sunrise on Friday 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 average traffic levels near the bridge site may cause some highway traffic congestion.

Parking

DOT officials are warning sightseers that there will be limited parking available to witness the historic arch placement on the Champlain Bridge, as there will be no extra parking created for this event.

Free parking will be available at the Essex County Visitor Center on the Bridge Road and the Crown Point State Historic Site. Parking at the nearby Crown Point Campground, operated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), will cost $6 per car.

As of Thursday afternoon, DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell said managers at the Crown Point Campground were not making any special plans to deal with the expected crowds on Aug. 25. While onlookers are welcome to pay for parking and watch the day’s activities from the campground’s Day Use Area, DEC staff will also be sending referring people to the Crown Point State Historic Site for free parking.

(Assistant Managing Editor Andy Flynn contributed to this story.)

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