Quantcast

Construction starts on Champlain Bridge - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Construction starts on Champlain Bridge

Crown Point, New York - June 11, 2010

State officials from both Vermont and New York broke ground on the new Champlain Bridge Friday in Crown Point, N.Y.

Since closing the bridge for safety reasons in October, agencies on both sides of the lake have been working to rejoin these regions.

"We thank you for your patience, but you won't have to be patient much longer," said Gov. David Paterson, D-New York. "We are starting construction on a new bridge today."

Construction officials say the new bridge design is more pedestrian and bike friendly than its predecessor.

"What I see on the new design that we're going to get ready to build-- it's a wider structure, there's more access for sidewalks, so I would definitely say it's better," said Mark Mallett of Flatiron Construction.

Flatiron is based out of Colorado. It plans to begin selecting crews for the project in the coming days.

"I expect approximately 50 craft employees, different trades, at peak production," Mallett said.

"I guess you could say I'm infatuated with the bridge," Hans Anders said.

Anders recently completed his senior thesis at Middlebury College about the regional impact of the bridge closing and said he has been looking forward to this day.

"Having seen all the suffering and having seen how it impacted everyone living on both sides of the lake-- it's just great to see that they're actually moving ahead and that there will be a new bridge," Anders said.

While some were celebrating, others were wondering what's next.

"As a labor business manager for this area, I have 25 crew members that live in sight of this bridge that are currently out of work," said John Donoghue of the Bricklayers Allied Craftworkers.

Gov. Jim Douglas declined to sign a project labor agreement that would ensure union subcontractors would be selected for bridge construction to level the playing field for union and nonunion workers, but union reps say they saw it differently.

"One of the things that has been very frustrating is that this has been pitted as a union versus nonunion issue and the reality is this is a worker safety and local jobs for local people issue," said Prarie Wells of the Bricklayers Allied Craftworkers.

Union representatives say their biggest concern about the absence of a project labor agreement is that Flatiron can choose to bring crews from out of the region instead of hiring local laborers.

"They made it very clear they plan to hire a lot of people from both New York and Vermont on this project," said Douglas, R-Vermont. "So I think they are working to keep that commitment so a lot of folks in our region will have jobs."

The bridge is slated to open in September of 2011.

Labor unions are now in discussion with Flatiron Construction to work out a new project labor agreement.

Molly Smith - WCAX News

Related Stories:

Colorado company will rebuild Champlain Bridge

New details about new Champlain Bridge

Champlain Bridge demolished

Champlain Bridge: The blast

Champlain Bridge: The reaction

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.