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.
The new Network Tied Arch Bridge is a steel structure with an arch along the center span. The bridge’s design makes it significantly safer than the previous structure and will ensure at least a 75-year service life. Key bridge components are designed to be easily replaceable to reduce maintenance costs. Travel lanes are 11 feet wide, with five-foot shoulders that will help accommodate larger trucks and farm vehicles, as well as provide ample room for bicyclists. Sidewalks are featured on both sides of the bridge.
The eight-story, 402-foot long, 1.8 million pound arch was constructed at Velez Marine in Port Henry, then floated down the lake and lifted into place. Building the arch on land was much faster, easier and cost-efficient than trying to safely build the arch high in the air above Lake Champlain.
The new bridge was built at the same location as the previous structure to minimize historic and environmental impacts on the surrounding area. The land adjacent to the bridge on both sides of the lake is historically sensitive, with Native American, French and Indian War and Revolutionary War artifacts buried deep along the shores of Lake Champlain. The ruins of 18th century forts – the French Fort St. Frederic and British Crown Point sit on the New York side of the bridge.