New book commemorates Lake Champlain Bridge

Lake Champlain Bridge Commemorative Book cover.

Lake Champlain Bridge Commemorative Book cover. Denton/New Market

— Contributors to the book were: Renee Cumm, of Peru; Andy Flynn, of Saranac Lake; John Gereau, of Westport; Fred Herbst, of Ticonderoga; Jon Hochschartner, of Lake Placid; Keith Lobdell, of Westport; Jeremiah Papineau, of Carthage; and Lou Varricchio, of Middlebury, Vt.

Stories for the bridge book were organized in four categories: 1) old bridge, 2) bridge transition, 3) new bridge, and 4) historical resources from both sides of Lake Champlain.

Old bridge: The history of the 1929 bridge is fully explored with timelines of its construction (1923-1929) and its lifespan (1929-2009); personal stories from people who had attended the Aug. 26, 1929 opening ceremony; a story about how the steamer Vermont III dictated the height of the span; and an investigative piece exploring why Ticonderoga’s lobbying efforts to have the bridge built in that community fell short. There is also a story about the lake’s first bridge, built in 1776 between Fort Ticonderoga, N.Y. and Mount Independence, Vt.

Bridge transition: When the original Lake Champlain Bridge was closed on Oct. 16, 2009, residents and visitors were forced to make a 100-mile commute around the lake before a free 24-hour ferry was opened next to the bridge site on Feb. 1, 2010. Stories explore the impact of the bridge’s closure to businesses, commuters, lake security and the ferry. There is also a story about blowing up the original bridge with explosives on Dec. 28, 2009.

New bridge: Stories documenting the construction of the new Lake Champlain Bridge include interviews with the designer Ted Zoli and builders at Flatiron Construction; naming the new bridge; the impact the bridge construction had on tourism in Port Henry and Crown Point; and the historic journey of the bridge arch, which was floated from Port Henry to Crown Point on Aug. 26, 2011, exactly 82 years after the first bridge opened.

Historical resources: The book features resources on Lake Champlain history from the Crown Point State Historic Site, the Chimney Point State Historic Site, and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes.

The “Lake Champlain Bridge Commemorative Book” is $5 plus tax and shipping. Order by phone at 802-388-6397 or 518-873-6368 or online at www.denpubs.com, www.addison-eagle.com or www.gmoutlook.com.

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