Vermont and New York residents got the chance Saturday to weigh in on a design for a new bridge over Lake Champlain.
Transportation officials unveiled six different proposals during a series of meetings in Ticonderoga. Hundreds of Vermont and New York citizens came to hear the plans for the new bridge construction.
The presentation outlined the six design concepts engineers believe would be best for replacing the bridge while staying within its existing footprint.
"It was very well presented. Very factual and not too technical," said one woman attending the meeting.
The old bridge had large cracks in its base near the water line which prompted officials to close it to traffic. The new concept will include pieces that can be removed and replaced for maintenance so that doesn't happen again.
Following the presentation those in attendance were asked to fill out a survey relaying their thoughts on the potential designs.
"I like the last one. It looks like an Indian long bow and brings back Native American influences of Vermont and New York. It makes the bridge a tourist attraction," said another attendee.
Engineers say public opinion will shape their final decision."That input is really important in understanding what's important to the public and why. And how that may change what bridge type or the specifics of the bridge type we involve for final design," said Ted Zoli with HTNB New York Engineering & Architecture.
Engineers are hopeful to have the new bridge open to the public by the summer of 2011. In the meantime Vermont and New York are working to put in a full time ferry service near the current bridge location to aide commuter transportation.
That work has been initiated this past week and we are shooting for a mid January early Feb completion that's when the boats will start running," Jim Boni, with the New York Department of Transportation.
Officials say the bridge will be properly commemorated before it is demolished to begin construction of its replacement.
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