BREAKING NEWS: Officials set bridge demolition date
ADDISON — New York and Vermont transportation authorities have tentatively set Wednesday, Dec. 23, as the date on which an Idaho-based company will demolish the Champlain Bridge.
Details were still being firmed up on Friday morning.
“Dec. 23 is our planning date and is not ‘official,’” stressed John Zicconi, director planning, outreach & community affairs for the Vermont Agency of Transportation. “It could change, but that is the date and time we are shooting for. When it becomes official, we will post on our own (Web) sites and make an announcement. But we are telling staff — state police, fire, rescue, etc. — to gear up for that time and date.”
Look for updates on the demolition date and time at www.addisonindependent.com.
Zicconi stressed that the demolition is not being advertised as a community spectacle. Quite the contrary.
“We are discouraging people from attending,” Zicconi said. “It is supposed to be cold, and there will be no facilities. And there is no parking except along local streets. I stress, we are not throwing a party, and we are not inviting people to attend anything. There is no ceremony of any kind. What we have is a construction site. We understand people can stand on the side of the road and view our construction, but we are making no accommodations. People may have to walk a considerable distance to get there, as there is no parking, it is expected to be very cold and there will be no places to warm up or go the bathroom.”
The Champlain Bridge closed Oct. 16 after inspectors noted substantial deterioration to the 80-year-old span’s concrete piers. As reported in the Dec. 17 issue of the Independent, citizens and a public advisory committee have selected a preferred design for a replacement bridge that transportation officials said could be in place by the summer of 2011.