Colchester Causeway reopens; bike ferry to restart soon

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 12:15 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 9:04 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - Grab your bike because the Colchester Causeway is back open after an extensive reconstruction project.

The Causeway is a popular 4-mile bike path that opens up with spectacular views of Lake Champlain.

Once a railroad bed, the path was heavily damaged two years ago in a storm.

The $1.6 million project finished ahead of its September completion date.

State and federal money paid for most of it.

John Stokes and Nance McShane summer near the Causeway and say they're happy the work is done and the dumptrucks are gone.

John Stokes: Six o'clock-- they started at 6 a.m.

Nance McShane: And they had to back up. All the way. Beep, beep!

Stan Bushway/Essex Junction: Where else in the world can you go-- Adirondacks on one side, Green Mountains on the other side? Where in the world can you find anything better than this?

Kathy Hibbert/Essex Junction: We've been to New Zealand and this is as beautiful.

Even though it's called the Colchester Causeway, a portion of the path goes into South Hero. But in order to get from one end to the other, you either need to swim or take the bike ferry.

The nonprofit Local Motion runs that ferry. They say they found out Wednesday the path was reopening Thursday, so they're not ready to restart service yet but hope to on August 12.

The ferry will run seven days a week until Labor Day. After that, it will only run Friday through Sunday until mid-October.

And there will be changes to avoid COVID-19. Only 10 passengers and their bikes will be allowed instead of 20. Riders will have to sit where they are told and must wear face coverings.

In the past, a roundtrip cost $8. But LocalMotion is hoping for donations so they provide free rides and not have to handle any cash.

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