Lake Champlain Bridge Arch Begins Rising Into Place

08/26/11 7:34AM By Melody Bodette
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AP/Mike Groll
Two ferries pass each other while contractors work to raise the central arch of the new Lake Champlain Bridge.

(Host) The new Lake Champlain Bridge is coming together. The arching center span of the bridge was floated down the lake from its construction site this morning.

As VPR's Melody Bodette reports, it's being lifted into place above the lake at this hour.

(Bodette) Many of the hundreds who gathered to watch the 2 million pound arch float into place were excited to see the bridge taking shape. Including architect Ted Zoli, who designed the span.

AP/New York State Department of Transportation
An artist's rendering shows what the Lake Champlain Bridge will look like when finished. The central arch is being lifted into place Friday.
(Zoli) "It is a big moment, but it's also a step in a long process."

(Bodette) Zoli says once the last piece of steel is up, there's still a lot of work to be done.

And that work continues today. New York state transportation engineer John Grady says the arch has been connected to steel cables that will lift the arch through an opening in the deck

(Grady) We'll lift the bridge slightly higher than it needs to go put those beams in underneath it and then set the bridge back down on the bearings where it's going to rest." :15

(Bodette) That process will take most of the afternoon. Once the arch is in place, Grady says another six to eight weeks of work is needed before the bridge can re-open to traffic.

For VPR News, I'm Melody Bodette in West Addison.

Watch the work

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