(Host) Six designs for a replacement of the closed Crown Point Bridge were unveiled at a series of public meetings in Ticonderoga this weekend. The bridge was closed in October due to concerns over safety.
Transportation officials offered three different basic designs. Two were for a concrete bridge. One suggested a steel cable span. The the other pair were "tied-arch" designs that are similar to the bridge that is to be demolished.
Bridge engineer Ted Zoli told the crowd of Vermont and New York residents that innovation should receive as much consideration as costs and speed of construction:
(Zoli) "When you’re replacing a really important engineering work, somehow you have an unstated opportunity to replace an important bridge with something that’s maybe not equally as important but maybe potentially could create a new sort of bridge form for the future, it’s essentially what Charles Spofford did with the Lake Champlain Bridge."
(Host) All of the bridge concepts call for two lanes, wider shoulders for bicyclists and pedestrian access. The vehicular clearance would be increased, and the bridge would be high enough for the mast of the Lois McClure canal schooner.
People at the meeting were asked to fill out a survey with their preferences. Vermont State Representative Diane Lanpher says she preferred one of the arch designs for its high safety rating and lower maintenance expenses, because those costs fall on the states:
(Lanpher) "I’m looking ahead to the point that I don’t ever want to see the new bridge in the condition the old bridge is, I think what we can do to make that happen is to ensure that we can afford to maintain whatever it is we build."
(Host) Lorraine Franklin of West Addison owns a house at the base of the bridge. She also preferred the arch design:
(Franklin) "It commemorates the old bridge with a new version of it, and it kind of carries the theme over, it fits with the mountains in the back ground and it definitely seems to work for us."
(Host) Transportation officials say whatever bridge is built should last for a minimum of 75 years. Initial construction costs could be as high as $90 million. Results of the survey will be given to a public advisory committee early this week. Officials hope to have a design concept in place by early January.
The bridge designs and the public survey are available online until midnight tonight.