Lake Flooding Delays Champlain Bridge Construction
05/03/11 7:04AM By Melody Bodette
(Host) The record high levels of Lake Champlain have slowed construction of a new bridge connecting West Addison, Vermont and Crown Point, New York.
The construction company was set to assemble the archway of the Lake Champlain bridge at a marina in Port Henry, New York.
Work was underway to prepare the site for the arrival of the steel archway pieces from a Pennsylvania mill. And that assembly was supposed to begin in mid-May. But New York State Transportation Engineer John Grady says the marina is now under a foot of water:
(Grady) "The site has quite a bit of preparation work, the installation of temporary piles and foundations, that will be used in the assembly and at the moment they can't work on that until the water recedes."
(Host) Grady says work at the marina stopped last week, and won't resume until the lake level drops.
But Grady says the flooding hasn't had an impact on construction of the steel approach spans:
(Grady) "Work is progressing quite nicely at the bridge site, we had some issues with our access, some of our gravel roads were getting wet, but they were able to continue erecting steel, we had quite a bit of steel staging on barges, And luckily because we're working off barges on the whole site, the barges simply rise with the lake."
(Host) The $70 million bridge is expected to open on October 9th, but there have been numerous construction delays and the company has been granted a 65-day schedule adjustment.