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State, Flatiron seek to build Crown Point Bridge arches on-site

State engineers and private contractors are seeking to assemble the arches for the new Crown Point Bridge in downtown Moriah.

Richard Weber is assistant director of Regulatory Affairs at the state Adirondack Park Agency. He told the APA's Board of Commissioners last week that a variance request to allow the arch assembly at Velez Marina is expected to be up for agency approval in February.

"We are expecting, but have not yet received, application material for a state agency project coming from the general contractor that is working on the Champlain Bridge under direct supervision of the DOT," he said. "Specifically, the contractor proposes to develop a temporary staging area for the development of the arches for the Champlain Bridge."

Flatiron Construction is building the new bridge under the direct supervision of the state Department of Transportation.

"We've received assurances in writing from the applicant from the marina that this is a temporary use on the property, but does not in any way effect the variance request that you have before you today," Weber said.

DOT reports the bridge construction is on schedule and on budget. It's expected to open to traffic next October.

Businesses near the Crown Point Bridge are reporting reduced tourist traffic from Vermont. The state is offering grants and loans for any business that has been negatively affected by the bridge closure.

APA commissioners approved a separate and disassociated variance from Velez Marina itself, allowing the construction of a retaining wall and 94 boat slips.

The Lake Champlain marina argues that the slips are necessary to remain economically viable.

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