Lake Champlain Bridge has lighting problems, DOT eyes spring repairs

New York State Department of Transportation will shoot for a spring repair of lights on the Champlain Bridge.

New York State Department of Transportation will shoot for a spring repair of lights on the Champlain Bridge.

— Transportation officials will wait until warm weather to investigate lighting problems on the Lake Champlain Bridge.

The $76 million bridge, which opened in November 2011, connects Crown Point and Addison, Vt.

Bryan Viggiani, public information officer for the New York State Department of Transportation Region One, said many of the bridge’s more than 300 lights are not working. The span has 66 LED floodlights and 276 LED pedestrian lights on the handrails.

“For the Lake Champlain Bridge, NYSDOT is aware that numerous lights are out along the bridge, both within the arches and along the sidewalks,” Viggiani said. “We are committed to getting those fixed.

“Once the weather is consistently above freezing this spring, we will begin a thorough investigation of the entire lighting system to determine the exact issue,” he said. “We want to avoid unintentional damage that may occur while investigating the system’s wires, which may be brittle to the touch because of the freezing temperatures.

“Once any issues are identified, we will go in and fix the lighting. NYSDOT is committed to fixing the lights on the bridge,” Viggiani concluded.

The lighting issue has not affected traffic, Viggiani stressed.

The new bridge replaced the old Lake Champlain Bridge, which served the region eight decades. That span was immediately closed Oct. 16, 2009, when state transportation officials, without warning, declared it unsafe.

The bridge served about 3,000 vehicles a day, meaning people who used the bridge daily to reach their jobs, health care facilities, grocery stores and other necessities were forced to take detours lasting up to four hours. The closing led to the closure of businesses on both sides of the lake and crippled tourism.

A temporary ferry service was installed to link Crown Point and Addison, Vt.

The bridge was demolished in December 2009 and construction started on a new bridge in June 2010. The new bridge opened Nov. 7, 2011.

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