"We have reached a critical point," said John Grady of the New York Department of Transportation. "We are no longer working underwater where we can't see."
Since work on the new Champlain Bridge began back in June, crews have been busy building the foundation of the new bridge underwater. John Grady of the New York Department of Transportation called it the most difficult part of the project. Now people will start seeing the new bridge take shape with the construction of seven piers that will support the arch bridge.
"Once we get the piers in place later this month, we will start to set the approaches starting on the Vermont side," Grady said.
Over the next eight months, 100 people will be working in shifts 20 hours a day putting the steel bridge together in pieces along the shore. The approaches should be finished by August, and then the arched deck will be put into place. Transportation officials say the new bridge will be more durable than the original and should last at least 75 years. They said the piers on the old bridge cracked because they were not properly reinforced.
"The new bridge is being designed with a lot of protection measures in both the water elements and steel elements," Grady said.
Drivers like Tom Rood of Jeffersonville can't wait to have the new bridge.
"In spite of the fact how fast they shuffle cars across the lake by ferry, it's 7 minutes each way, it would just be faster," Rood said.
"It definitely took some adjustments in the beginning with the schedules of the ferries," said Steve Kayhart of Kayhart Farms in West Addison.
Not having the bridge has been costly for the Kayhart farm. They have crops on both sides of the lake. This summer they had to hire extra workers and bring in additional equipment. But the biggest problem was dealing with limits to the number of large vehicles on each ferry.
"Before we could make a round trip from our field in New York back to our field here and back to the field in about 20 minutes, there were often times I would be sitting in the chopper waiting for a truck for over an hour," Kayhart said.
Transportation officials say the bridge should open to vehicle traffic on October 9, 2011. That is exactly one week before the two-year anniversary of the bridge closing.
If the contractor finishes the project early there is a $30,000 a day incentive. If the project is late, it will cost the company $30,000 a day.
Thursday, April 17 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:52:21 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:01:29 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:04:45 GMT
Darn Tough appears to be making a darn good profit. The high-end sock manufacturer out of Northfield reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever, with revenues up almost 80 percent over theMore >>
Vermont sock manufacturer Darn Tough reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever.More >>