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Visitors reflect on bridge arch raising

Horace Hyle, who drove over the original bridge shortly after it was built in 1929, spoke Aug. 26 with Ted Zoli, the chief engineer of HNTB Corp., who designed the new bridge.

Horace Hyle, who drove over the original bridge shortly after it was built in 1929, spoke Aug. 26 with Ted Zoli, the chief engineer of HNTB Corp., who designed the new bridge. Photo by Jon Hochschartner.

— “In 1929 my father was here for the opening of the previous bridge,” Henry said. “We’re just recreating a family tradition. It feels pretty cool.”

Henry said he owns a small camp on the New York side of the bridge which his family visits on weekends. The bridge closure only mildly extended what had been a 45 minute trip to an hour long one, which his family doesn’t mind.

“(But) we do hear the horror stories commuters are facing,” Henry said.

Chris Staffa, of Underhill, Vt., said he had been following the construction of the bridge almost since its inception.

“It’s really been interesting to see how it comes together on the ground,” Staffa said, adding that in particular he was looking forward to the lifting of the arch.

Pam Ketchum, who lives in both Chester and Port Henry, said she was attending the arch-lift out of historical interest.

“I think it’s just thrilling actually,” Ketchum said. “It’s just to me so monumental.”

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