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Bridge history now on exhibit

State display remembers old span

The old Lake Champlain Bridge is gone, but not forgotten. The New York State Department of Transportation has announced a commemoration program highlighting the original 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, which was replaced by a new span last fall.

The old Lake Champlain Bridge is gone, but not forgotten. The New York State Department of Transportation has announced a commemoration program highlighting the original 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, which was replaced by a new span last fall.

— The old Lake Champlain Bridge is gone, but not forgotten.

The New York State Department of Transportation has announced a commemoration program highlighting the original 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, which was replaced by a new span last fall.

The program now has two interpretive displays located in New York’s Lake Champlain Visitors Center and Vermont’s Chimney Point State Historic Site along with a website, www.dot.ny.gov/LCBCommemoration.

Additional displays will be installed in the region later this year.

“New York State and Vermont worked quickly to deliver a modern, new bridge over Lake Champlain, restoring a critically important connection for people and businesses on both sides of the border, as well as for long distance travelers and tourists,” NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “I am very pleased to once again work together with the state of Vermont to provide important historical information about a bridge that has played such an important role in the region’s growth and development.”

Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles echoed those comments.

“We are pleased to co-host these commemorative installations,” he said. “The original Champlain Bridge is an important part of our shared history and like the new bridge, a symbol of the ongoing cooperation between New York and Vermont in maintaining the vitality of our region.”

The original structure, opened in 1929, was closed in October 2009 after NYSDOT engineers declared the span unsafe. NYSDOT worked with state and federal agencies, as well as Vermont and area residents, to replace the bridge with an updated structure. The new bridge opened to traffic in November 2011.

NYSDOT’s interpretive displays include exhibits of bridge artifacts and memorabilia, as well as sign panels that tell the story of the former Lake Champlain Bridge. The largest exhibit is located at the Lake Champlain Visitors Center, where a room devoted to the former bridge includes memorabilia from the building’s former use as a bridge superintendent’s residence and toll collection office from 1929 to 1987.

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