Local News

September 16, 2009

Champlain Bridge future debated

Span's condition worse than thought; 2-lane traffic resuming


She told committee members the choices are:

•  Rehabilitate the existing bridge.

•  Build a new bridge on the same location.

•  Build a new bridge at a different location.

•  Initiate year-round ferry service in lieu of a bridge.

"Many people don't feel a ferry is a reasonable alternative," Fitzgerald said. "We may take that off of there at some point."


The lead agencies for the project are the New York State DOT, Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, all of which had representatives at the committee meeting.

"The PAC (Public Advisory Committee) does not make decisions," Fitzgerald said. "The PAC makes recommendations to the lead agencies."

Those agencies will make the final decision on what to do about the bridge, she said.

"It's been a long road just to get to this point. Now we want to get the public-involvement process cranked up."

To that end, another public information meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at Addison Central School, 121 Route 17 in Addison, Vt.


Committee member Ann Cousins of the Preservation Trust of Vermont complained that some committee members were being left out of the information loop.

"Some PAC members gave interviews to the media in which they appeared to have information other PAC members don't have."

Fitzgerald said she doesn't think anyone had exclusive information, but "they may have drawn conclusions."

DOT Design Project Manager James Boni said his agency doesn't share information with some committee members and not others.

Vermont Agency of Transportation Design Project Manager Daniel Landry said the bridge project will be controversial.

"There'll be tons of rumors; be cautious."

E-mail Lohr McKinstry at:

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