June 27, 2013

Malfunction puts Champlain Bridge in dark

CROWN POINT — A blown electronic timer that knocked out most of the lights on the Champlain Bridge Tuesday night is expected to be replaced by Friday.

Work was already under way to repair the lighting system on the span that connects Crown Point with Addison, Vt., but another malfunction resulted in the bridge going completely dark Tuesday night, State Department of Transportation officials said.

DOT contractor Stilsing Electric of Rensselaer is repairing wiring and sealing junction boxes against moisture to fix a problem that caused many of the bridge’s LED light sections to flicker off over the winter.

“Last night (Tuesday), the timer that controls the south-side lights malfunctioned,” DOT Region 1 Public Information Officer Bryan Viggiani said by email Wednesday.

“This timer sustained water damage over the winter and was already set to be replaced.

“The north-side lights are off because they are being worked on by the contractor.”

Electrical workers are replacing the timer and its wiring and are almost finished with the other repairs.

“All of the lights are expected to be up and functioning on Friday night,” Viggiani said.

The Champlain Bridge opened in 2011 to replace a 1929 span that was declared unsafe and then destroyed by controlled explosives.

The new bridge cost about $76 million to construct, including $1.2 million for a lighting system with 66 LED floodlights on the arch and 276 LED walkway and roadway lights.

The arch lights are slated to be turned off at 11 p.m. daily once repairs are finished, to satisfy complaints of late-night light pollution created by the bridge.

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