Bridge construction on schedule despite record flooding

An official with the state Adirondack Park Agency says construction of a new bridge between Crown Point and Addison, Vermont is on schedule despite record flooding in recent weeks.

Speaking Thursday, APA Deputy Director of Regulatory Programs Rick Weber told commissioners in Ray Brook that high waters on Lake Champlain haven't significantly impacted bridge construction.

In recent weeks, flooding has pushed water levels on Lake Champlain to record heights, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing people from their homes.

But Weber says the bridge is still expected to open by Oct. 9.

"In short, the status for the bridge right now remains essentially unchanged, even though they've encountered some delays," Weber said. "According to recent conversations with DOT staff in the central office, the opening date is remaining unchanged. The final day for opening has not moved."

Weber said installation of some piers was delayed to due conditions on the lake bottom. That portion of construction work is behind schedule, but builders believe that delay can be mitigated, Weber says.

Work at a marina near Port Henry has been delayed due to flooding, Weber says. The APA had previously granted a variance to allow construction of some of the bridge's structures at that site.

"The flooding has slowed the ability to begin to build the arch structures, which were part of the Velez Marine project," Weber said. "That is so flooded that it's difficult for them to move forward at this point."

The old bridge was demolished two years ago after inspectors with the state Department of Transportation deemed it unsafe.

The total project is expected to cost nearly $70 million.

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