Motorists travel between Crown Point, N.Y. and Addison, Vt. on the Lake Champlain Bridge around 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 shortly after the new span opened.
Photo by Andy Flynn.
Crown Point The Lake Champlain Bridge is open, connecting New York and Vermont and providing a vital link for the residents, local businesses, and communities of both states.
As a result of the unprecedented collaboration between the partners involved in building the new bridge and the leadership of the two governors, construction was completed in just two years rather than the initial eight year projection. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined Governor Shumlin and local officials in Crown Point, New York for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the bridge's opening.
"The opening of a new bridge over Lake Champlain is great news for residents and businesses in the North Country who depend upon this bridge and have been inconvenienced by its closure," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "When the bridge was closed and demolished in 2009, it was estimated to take eight years to rebuild. I am pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work and dedication of our federal, state, and local partners, the bridge is opening far earlier than planned. Today's announcement demonstrates that once again New York state government can work effectively and efficiently for the people. I thank the Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and our partners in Vermont for their assistance in building this bridge, which will help revitalize local economies and strengthen the relationship between our two states."
"It's a critical link for west-central Vermont and New York State, and vital to Vermont's economic strength, as well as for the people who rely upon that bridge for work and recreation. The structure that is opening today recreates the iconic previous Champlain Bridge, and I'm enormously proud of the design and the execution of this state-of-the-art engineering accomplishment," said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.
Construction on the $76 million new structure began in June 2010 after the old structure was demolished in December 2009. Due to the emergency nature of the closure and the lack of efficient detour routes, New York and Vermont worked closely with the United States Department of Transportation and other federal and state agencies to efficiently lead a replacement project through significant review processes and necessary oversights required to guarantee that a safe new structure could be delivered to the community in record time. Overall, a project that was initially expected to be completed only by 2017 was finished in late 2011.