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Bridge anniversary to be observed

Oct. 16 at Crown Point State Historic Site

Karen Hennessy of Crown Point is co-chairwoman of the Lake Champlain Bridge Community. The group will mark the two-year anniversary of the bridge closure Oct. 16.

Karen Hennessy of Crown Point is co-chairwoman of the Lake Champlain Bridge Community. The group will mark the two-year anniversary of the bridge closure Oct. 16.

— The two-year anniversary of the Lake Champlain Bridge closure will be observed Oct. 16.

The Lake Champlain Bridge Community will mark the occasion with live music, a fund raising barbeque and raffles noon to 4 p.m. at the Crown Point State Historic Site.

The bridge was closed abruptly Oct. 16, 2009, after an inspection revealed deep cracks in its support pillars. It was destroyed by a controlled explosion in December 2009 and construction began in its replacement.

The Lake Champlain Bridge Community, a group of New York and Vermont residents and businesses who have lobbied for quick replacement of the span, had hoped to hold an opening ceremony that weekend. However, construction delays ruined the original schedule. The New York State Department of Transportation, which had said the bridge would open Oct 9, now declines to give an opening date.

The bridge is being erected by Flatiron Construction of Colorado. The state DOT reports concrete is now being poured, sidewalks are being installed, railings re being placed and other work is under way.

The Lake Champlain Bridge Community had planned an opening celebration for the bridge, but that was postponed when state officials acknowledged the span wouldn’t be ready. That celebration is now scheduled for next spring.

“Of course we’re disappointed to not be holding the grand re-opening celebration this weekend as originally planned,” said Karen Hennessy of Crown Point, co-chairwomen of the group, “but we still wanted a reason to celebrate this fall.”

The anniversary party will be catered by Crown Point Barbecue Company, which will offer a meal of pulled pork, chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese and dinner rolls. Dinner tickets are $15. The barbecue will raise funds for the Lake Champlain Bridge Community to produce and promote the opening celebration in May 2012. The cost per person is $15.

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