Lake Champlain Bridge Could Be Dropped Wednesday

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(Host) The commute around southern Lake Champlain has become a nightmare again.

Ice on the lake has forced the Ticonderoga Ferry to close, at least for now. And with the Crown Point Bridge closed, that narrows options for anyone who needs to travel between Addison, Vermont, and Crown Point, New York.

John Zicconi is with Vermont’s Transportation Agency.

(Zicconi) "We always weather could be a problem for the Ticonderoga Ferry because it’s not really outfitted to run in winter. The issue going on now is ice that has floated in from other parts of the lake. It’s just starting to get cold, so ice forms and it kind of floats like little icebergs. Due to the wind conditions and such, it’s actually started to congregate down by the New York dock at Ticonderoga."

(Host) The Ticonderoga Ferry closed yesterday. It will reopen if the ice clears.

In the meantime, commuters can use a ferry that operates between Charlotte, Vermont, and Essex, New York. Buses on both sides of the lake pick up and leave passengers at the ferry landings.

The other option is to drive south around the lake, through Fair Haven, Vermont, and Whitehall, New York. But that’s a detour of about 100 miles.

Transportation officials are also planning for the demolition of the old bridge. That could come as early as next Wednesday.

Earlier plans had been to demolish the bridge next month. But Zicconi says the goal has always been to move as soon as possible.

(Zicconi) "We have always wanted to bring this bridge down as soon as possible because it’s a safety concern and it’s even greater safety concern in the cold weather as the steel expands and contracts and puts more stress on the pieces of the bridge that are tentative and could cause it to collapse."

(Host) Officials are discouraging the public from attending the demolition.

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