WEST ADDISON - It wasn't the kind of news commuters and business owners along both sides of Lake Champlain wanted to hear. But a New York official said April 7 that the project to erect a new Lake ChamplainBridge between Chimney Point,Vt., and Crown Point, N.Y., is late and millions of dollars over budget.
At a public meeting held in West Addison, New York Department of Transportation engineer John Grady said the crews ran into multiple problems when they started to clear debris from the demolished 1929 bridge site.
The old bridge was razed by coordinated explosive demolition in December 2009 after it was determined to be structurally unsound. The old bridge was officially closed in October 2009.
A temporary ferry service was established south of the construction site.
The service will cease operation when the new bridge is open to vehicular traffic.
According to Grady, more time and money was needed to clear the twisted steel remnants of the old bridge from the narrows between Vermont and New York.
Grady also said the project contractor has been granted 65 additional days to complete the bridge. Construction crews may regain the momentum as the spring weather improves.
According to Grady, the cost overrun will add "several million dollars" to the originally posted $70 million price tag.
Despite the delay and cost overrun, Grady said he is still planing for a bridge ribbon cutting and opening this October.