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News stories tagged with "crown-point"

Historic Crown Point bridge will be demolished, replaced

New York's acting Transportation commissioner says the Crown Point bridge is too seriously damaged to be repaired. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

Anger over Lake Champlain bridge closure

Nearly two weeks of frustration over the closure of the Crown Point Bridge boiled over last night during a public meeting in Port Henry. Dozens of people whose lives and businesses have been disrupted by the October 16th bridge closure vented their anger and frustration to state Department of Transportation officials and representatives of Governor David Paterson. While no permanent solutions were offered, DOT officials are continuing to work on a series of short-term travel options to help those who've been impacted by the bridge closure. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article

Officials say Crown Point bridge closed until spring

Engineers say the Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York and Addison, Vt., will be closed until at least spring. New York Transportation Department Engineer Robert Dennison says the structural problem with the bridge is "unexpectedly extreme." According to Dennison, it's just too risky to continue using the bridge that was closed Oct. 16. The Burlington Free Press reports Dennison was at a public meeting on the bridge closure in Addison last night.

The closure is disrupting lives and commerce on both sides of the lake. A survey conducted by New York state found that between 3,000 and 4,000 cars used the span each day. The states are now providing free ferry and bus service for locals who live and work on opposite sides of the lake. Another public information meeting is planned for this evening at 7 pm at the Moriah Central School in Port Henry, NY.  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

Paterson says North Country faces painful cuts in school, local gov funding

Governor David Paterson is pushing for deep budget cuts in the next few months that would affect schools, local governments and transportation projects across the North Country. Paterson spoke with Brian Mann this week about the financial crisis. He says the Crown Point bridge project won't be affected by the squeeze. But the Governor says everyone else faces serious pain.  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
collapse.

"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
Champlain Memorial Lighthouse
Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

Crown Point lighthouse reborn for Quadricentennial

Next year, marks the 400th Anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the valley that now bears his name. After the voyage, the region saw bloody warfare and burgeoning international trade for more than 250 years. Then, in the calm that preceded the Civil War, military officers called for the construction of a lighthouse at Crown Point, NY. It's a critical spot where Lake Champlain narrows. The structure has taken on a life and historical significance far beyond its original intent. In 1909, thousands of people, including President William Taft and other heads of state, converged on Crown Point to celebrate the Champlain expedition's 300th Anniversary. The state Department of Environmental Conservation spent months refurbishing the lighthouse in hopes of staging another grand event next year. Chuck Vandrei is New York's historic preservation officer. He gave Jonathan Brown a tour of what is now known as the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse.  Go to full article
Pastor Dave Hirtle
Pastor Dave Hirtle

Saving a cemetery to preserve a community

Across the North Country, cemeteries are disappearing behind thickets of tall grass and brambles. Long-time residents fear they're losing a part of their community - and an important link to their past. Many towns are trying to maintain their cemeteries. But mowing the grounds and tending the graves are straining local budgets. In Crown Point, the responsibility of maintaining the town graveyard fell on one man. Now, that torch has passed to a North Country newcomer. Jonathan Brown has our story.  Go to full article
President Taft celebrating Champlain's arrival in 1909
President Taft celebrating Champlain's arrival in 1909

Lake Champlain 400th celebration looks for spark

Organizers of next year's 400th anniversary celebration on Lake Champlain say they're struggling to build momentum and funding for the event. Frenchman Samuel de Champlain was the first European explorer to reach the lake in 1609. As Todd Moe reports, historians and local activists hope to match big commemorations held in the past.  Go to full article
Jessica Nelson searches for traces of French history
Jessica Nelson searches for traces of French history

At Crown Point, unearthing the drama of French history in the North Country

As part of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial celebration, researchers in Crown Point have begun a new archaeological dig. The peninsula was occupied by a French garrison for a quarter-century, beginning in the 1730s. But researchers think they may have also found the site of an early village. Brian Mann visited the work site and sent this audio postcard.

Program Note: Tune in on Monday when we'll return to Crown Point for another chapter of the town's history. Jonathan Brown reports on efforts to save a local cemetery where heroes of the Civil War are buried.  Go to full article

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