Champlain Bridge: Seeing history full circle - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Champlain Bridge: Seeing history full circle

Essex Junction, Vermont - December 28, 2009

Roger Boozan watched and waited Monday morning. The nearly 95-year-old Essex Junction resident sat back relaxed and ready to witness history.

"It's too bad," he said. "It's going to cost a lot of money, but if it's not safe then it's going to be good to have it down."

And believe it or not, Boozan was there when the Champlain Bridge went up. Fourteen years old and a resident of Fletcher at the time, his family trekked south on August 26, 1929, to watch Vermont Governor John Weeks and New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicate the new span connecting the two states.

"Well, my folks, we got together and we had a picnic. We went down and had a picnic down there. And so I can remember the big crowd, you know," Boozan said. "We had open cars, you know, in fact I think the car we went in was a 1919 and they were all open cars at the time."

Still working part time as a barber and still driving his own car, Boozan and his wife wanted to drive down Monday.

"I figured I could see it better on television," Boozan said.

And he did.

"There she goes," he said as the bridge fell.

There at the beginning and at the end-- his own life span longer than the 2,184 foot long vital link across Lake Champlain.

"Just lucky I think," he said.

A laid-back Vermonter lucky to witness history once again.

"That was fantastic," he said.

The new Lake Champlain bridge is scheduled to open in the summer of 2011 and Roger Boozan says if luck is still on his side, he'll be there once again. He'll be 96 years old.

Bridget Barry Caswell - WCAX News

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