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News stories tagged with "bridge"

Brian Donovan skippers a new pedestrian ferry from Westport to Basin Harbor
Brian Donovan skippers a new pedestrian ferry from Westport to Basin Harbor

Locals caught in Lake Champlain bridge closure organize NY-VT pedestrian ferry

As state officials scramble to find a permanent fix to the Crown Point bridge closure, locals have been working out their own solutions - everything from car pooling to kayaking across Lake Champlain. A new pedestrian ferry opened yesterday between Westport, New York and Basin Harbor on the Vermont side. Brian Mann rode along and sent this audio postcard.  Go to full article
A closed bridge in Crown Point...
A closed bridge in Crown Point...

As bridge closure hits wallets, anger in Champlain Valley grows

Eleven days have passed since the Crown Point bridge was closed by New York state transportation officials. An inspection found that the cement piers that form the span's foundation were crumbling dangerously. Engineers have been working around the clock to determine whether the bridge can be repaired before winter. But already the closure has begun to squeeze the economy in the central Champlain Valley. Workers on both sides of the lake have been forced to pay for expensive ferry crossings, or make hundred-mile commutes. Brian Mann was in Crown Point over the weekend and has our story.  Go to full article
File photo of DOT bridge inspections from 2007 (Photo:  Brian Mann)
File photo of DOT bridge inspections from 2007 (Photo: Brian Mann)

Breaking: Crown Point bridge closed, could collapse

State officials abruptly closed the Crown Point bridge across Lake Champlain this afternoon, citing dangerous deterioration to the cement piers supporting the structure.

"The flaws and deterioration of those foundations means that...the bridge is subject to potential failure," said Mary Ivey, DOT regional director.

State Senator Betty Little says a "major tragedy" has been averted.

Engineers discovered that two concrete piers supporting the structure have deteriorated to the degree that environmental factors -- and not the weight of passing cars -- could cause the structure to

"What they've said is that what would happen is not just that one piece would fall off but that the whole bridge would collapse into the water," said Sen. Little.

The emergency closure will affect more than 3,400 travelers each day. Roughly half that number are local commuters who cross the bridge to get to work.

The route is a major link between northern New York and Vermont, with the nearest detour route 50-100 miles away.

The Ticonderoga ferry closes at the end of the October, but the ferry at Essex remains open until the lake ices up.

The other alternate route is at Whitehall in Washington County at the southern end of Lake Champlain.

This development will hit communities on both sides of the lake hard.

Carol Sweeney is a nurse from Crown Point, New York, who works at the hospital in Middlebury, Vermont.

"We avbsolutely for medical reasons alone need that bridge open," she said.

As recently as last week, state officials assured members of the public that there were no plans to close the bridge.

They also insisted that the bridge was safe for one-lane traffic and would reopen both lanes later this month.

"we are confident that it's safe," said Jim Boni, with New York's Transportation Department.

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, whose district includes Crown Point, called today for an investigation of how the safety concern was overlooked.

"I know there were divers in that water all summer," Sayward said. "Why didn't we have any idea before we saw the email [today] that this was going on now?"

DOT officials say the closure is "indefinite."

More on this story Monday morning during the 8 O'clock Hour.  Go to full article
Workers repair the cement supports of the Crown Point bridge (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Workers repair the cement supports of the Crown Point bridge (Photo: Brian Mann)

Lake Champlain bridge in worse shape than believed, fix could take years

One of the most important land crossings between Northern New York and Vermont is in worse shape than once believed. According to transportation officials from New York, some of the most important steel girders and cement pilings that support the Crown Point bridge are deteriorating rapidly. The route is used by more than 3,000 vehicles every day. About half of those cars and trucks are driven by people going to work. The bridge is also an important route for tourists. As Brian Mann reports, state and Federal agencies say replacing or permanently repairing the bridge could take half a decade.  Go to full article
The aging Batchellerville Bridge in the southern Adirondacks (Source:  NYSDOT)
The aging Batchellerville Bridge in the southern Adirondacks (Source: NYSDOT)

New $35 million Batchellerville Bridge moves forward on Great Sacandaga

The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to approve a state plan to build a new $35-million bridge across the Great Sacandaga Reservoir in the southern Adirondacks. Local leaders say the multi-year project will save a crucial link between communities in the region. Brian Mann has our story.

Program note: On Monday, Brian reports on new efforts by state officials to manage Great Sacandaga's controversial shoreline.  Go to full article
Inspectors working on Lake Champlain bridge at Crown Point
Inspectors working on Lake Champlain bridge at Crown Point

Inspections raise safety questions about Crown Point bridge

New York transportation officials continued their inspection of the Crown Point bridge last week. The bridge which crosses Lake Champlain near Ticonderoga is one of the busiest routes from New York into Vermont. One lane of the crossing was closed to traffic as a team tested everything from the road decking to the cement support piers that serve as the bridge's foundation. This latest round of inspections raised some new questions about the bridge's structural integrity. Brian Mann has been following this story and spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

No Foul Play in Collapse of Bridge Near Santa Clara

The Department of Environmental Conservation has determined there was no criminal activity involved in the collapse of a bridge in the Champion lands in September. But, as Chris Knight reports, a criminal investigation continues to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed another nearby bridge the same day.  Go to full article

Jay Bridge Fight Continues With Federal Suit

A couple in the town of Jay is suing the state of New York in Federal court, hoping to block construction of a new bridge over the east branch of the Ausable River. Yesterday, the state Department of Transportation served the couple with an eviction notice for a 7-acre portion of their farm. DOT officials say the land is needed to build the new bridge -- but won't enforce the eviction until the matter is heard in court Monday. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Ontario's "Rural Revolution" Catches On

Last Friday, hundreds of tractors, buses, and pickup trucks shut down access to the Canadian side of the international bridge near Ogdensburg for several hours. The protest was organized by a coalition of farmers and property rights groups across rural Ontario. They want their government to lower taxes, reduce regulations, and leave them alone. They're a part of a growing movement that's drawing the attention of the Canadian public. David Sommerstein reports.

To learn more about the history of the landowners associations involved in the "Rural Revolution" protests, David Sommerstein spoke with Carla Hilton, producer for CBC Radio in Ottawa (To listen, click the interview link below). She began covering the groups when they emerged in the rural Ottawa Valley.  Go to full article
Ogdensburg bridge (painting by John Morrow)
Ogdensburg bridge (painting by John Morrow)

Canadian Farmers to Blockade Ogdensburg Bridge

Tomorrow, a group of farmers and property rights advocates plan to stop traffic on the international bridge near Ogdensburg. Beginning at 9 in the morning, they say they'll blockade both lanes on the Canadian side of the bridge with dozens of tractors. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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