UPDATE: Champlain Bridge demolition postponed
ADDISON — The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced that the Lake Champlain Bridge demolition has been rescheduled for Monday, Dec. 28, at 10 a.m. due to the formation of ice on Lake Champlain and severely cold temperatures which have significantly delayed work to prepare the bridge for demolition. Safety issues associated with the bitter cold and high winds, as well as icing around the bridge have caused the delay, according to NYSDOT’s blast subcontractor Advanced Explosives Demolition (AED). Therefore, the bridge will not be sufficiently prepared for demolition on the originally scheduled date, Dec. 23. All plans and restrictions that were in place for the previously scheduled demolition date of Dec. 23 will remain in affect for Monday's anticipated demolition. Access to Vermont’s public viewing along Route 125 will be controlled by turning parts of Route 125 and Route 17 into one-way streets.Heading west along Route 125, the road will become one way (heading west) in the area of Lake Street. One-way traffic will be maintained as Route 125 heads toward Lake Champlain and connects with Route 17 at the bridge. Route 17 will also be just one way (headed east) from the bridge until the area around the West Addison General Store, also known as WAGS.Because the westerly most portion of Route 17 will be one-way headed away from the bridge, demolition viewers are encouraged to enter the area via Route 125. Anyone attempting to get to the bridge on Dec. 28 along Route 17 will be stopped at WAGS and turned around. They will not be able to continue any further west along Route 17. The demolition contractor has established safety protocols for demolition viewing. The public will not be allowed in the area immediately surrounding the bridge, including the land, water and air. A safety zone of 1,000 feet has been established for land access, while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a 2,000 foot no-fly zone. Access to certain roads and buildings also will be restricted to ensure public safety. For their protection, the public is required to abide by the safety zones.In order to protect the public during the Lake Champlain Bridge demolition and subsequent debris removal, the United States Coast Guard (USGS) has established a water safety zone of 1,000 feet on either side of the bridge. No vessels, vehicles or persons are permitted within this area without approval from the Captain of the Port, Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. This safety zone is in effect from 8 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20, until Thursday, April 15, 2010, to allow the channel to be cleared of debris. Any questions regarding the safety zone should be directed to the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Command Center at 207-767-0302.