The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced tentative plans to float the center arch span of the new Lake Champlain Bridge to the bridge site and lift it into place next week. The public may be able to watch the lift, but some marine and vehicle traffic restrictions will be in place.
When the span is completely assembled at its construction site on Valez Marine, the structure will be floated down Lake Champlain to the bridge site, where it will be lifted and fitted into place. The float will take approximately four hours to complete and the lift is expected to last eight hours.
NYSDOT expects the process to begin at sunrise with work extending into the early evening that same day. However, the lift could be delayed due to high winds or lightning.
The main navigational channel through the center span will be closed for approximately 48 hours as the arch is floated into position, lifted into place and secured. Marine traffic will be directed through an alternative navigational channel during this time period.
For those interested in viewing the process, on the New York side, the Department of Environmental Conservation campground, Crown Point State Historic Site and Essex County Visitors Center will be open to the public. However, parking is extremely limited in this area and no additional parking accommodations can be made available because New York Route 185, Vermont routes 17 and 125, and the ferry access roads must remain passable at all times.
A definite date for the float and lift will be set as assembly of the arch nears completion. That date will be subject to change based on weather conditions.