Committee Meets To Plan For Bridge Opening

04/11/11 7:04AM By Melody Bodette

New York Department of Transportation
The new Lake Champlain Bridge will be a modified network tied-arch bridge.
(Host) As construction continues on the new Lake Champlain Bridge connecting West Addison, Vermont, and Crown Point, New York, planning is also under way for the opening celebration and commemoration of the 1929 bridge that was demolished.

There will be a public meeting tomorrow night in Addison to plan the opening celebration.

Organizers say the dedication event will likely take place in October. But it's difficult to pin down a date because it's unclear when the bridge will be completed.

New York State transportation officials are accelerating work on the project to meet the goal of opening the bridge on October ninth.

Vermont state representative Diane Lanpher says organizers hope the celebration will line up with the completion, but opening will not be held up for a party:

(Lanpher) "It's going to open, we're not going to hold up one more minute of traffic. But we may have to plan for the celebration in a little bit of a different manner."

(Host) The group organizing the celebration is raising private funds to cover all the costs. 

Meanwhile, New York state officials are in the final stages of a project to commemorate the 1929 bridge.

Such a project was part of the agreement that allowed the historic bridge to be demolished quickly after it was deemed unsafe for traffic.

Project Manager Jim Boni says those plans include oral histories, a 30-minute documentary, interpretative displays and a commemorative booklet.

(Boni) "The majority of the commemoration activities we hope to be completed in 2012. But we do hope that some will be able to be in place by the time the bridge opens. But that's something I cannot guarantee."

(Host) The commemoration plans will soon head to both Vermont and New York officials and the Federal Highway Administration for approval.

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