New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee and Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill today announced that, in order to expedite progress on demolishing the current Lake Champlain Bridge and designing its replacement, the states will hold a series of meetings to present plans and options to the public throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 12, at LaChute Hall, 132 Montcalm St., in Ticonderoga, New York.
"The purpose of these meetings is to receive feedback from the public regarding design plans for the replacement bridge at Crown Point as well as ideas for commemorating the historic bridge that will soon be demolished," said Acting Commissioner Gee. "We want to assure that the new bridge is built as quickly as possible, and that it is aesthetically compatible within the context of the community and the environment. This is an inclusive process, and we will seriously consider the input received from those who live in the area and depend on the connection between Vermont and New York State. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the community, residents, local government and other agencies, as we have been doing, to implement transportation options as a new bridge is put in place."
"We encourage as many people as possible to join us at these public forums," VTrans Secretary Dill added. "We are keenly aware of how important this new bridge will be to everyone who lives anywhere near the lake crossing. We value everyone's opinion, and we look forward to the public's guidance in helping us choose a bridge design that we can all be proud of."
Three identical public meetings, each including a brief formal presentation followed by time for general questions and answers and time for the public to view displays will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. The purpose of these "open house" sessions is to provide an opportunity to receive further input from interested parties.
During the presentations, project team members will review the design criteria for the new bridge and the feasible bridge types available for consideration. Attendees will be asked for input regarding features that should be included in the design, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, lighting and materials used, as well as the style of the new bridge. Options for commemorating the historic bridge will also be presented and discussed. The meeting will also address demolition plans for the existing bridge including when and how it is likely to occur. Staff from both NYSDOT and VTrans will be available following the formal portion of each meeting to discuss this information.
In addition to being open to the general public, "consulting parties" as defined under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act who are interested in participating in the Lake Champlain Bridge replacement project are invited to attend the public meeting and to submit a written request to become a consulting party to both NYSDOT and VTrans at R01-LakeChamplainBridge@dot.state.ny.us. Consulting parties should include information about their experience and a statement explaining why they believe their participation would contribute to a consideration of the project's effects on historic properties.
The Lake Champlain Bridge was closed for safety reasons on Oct. 16 after it was discovered that piers supporting the bridge were dangerously deteriorated. The bridge provided a vital link for employment, commerce and medical care between Crown Point, New York, and Addison, Vermont.
If the meeting needs to be postponed due to inclement weather, the meeting would be held on Sunday, Dec. 13, at the same time and place.