CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE DESIGN PUBLIC MEETING TO BE HELD ON MONDAY
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will hold a public meeting in Vermont at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 4 to present the six possible designs for the new Lake Champlain Bridge. The meeting will be held at the Addison County Eagle building at 67 New Haven Road in Vergennes.
The meeting provides those who were not able to attend the series of meetings held December 12 in Ticonderoga with an opportunity to hear and discuss details about the six possible bridge designs and offer feedback on which design they like best. VTrans and NYSDOT are taking public input on the various designs. An announcement is expected in mid January as to which design will be built.
Public input is being accepted until January 11, 2010. Monday's meeting is being held in Vergennes due to its close proximity to the Essex/Charlotte ferry so that residents of both Vermont and New York can attend.
"We want to give both New York and Vermont residents as much opportunity as possible to weigh in on the new bridge design," said VTrans Secretary David Dill. "It's very important to all of us that the communities on both sides of the lake are comfortable with the choice that is eventually made."
"The meeting on December 12 was well-attended by residents of both Vermont and New York, however, it's important to us that those who could not attend it or do not have access to the Internet are able to see the photos of the new bridge design options themselves and be able to discuss them with our experts," said Stanley Gee, Acting Commissioner of NYSDOT.
"The opinion of the public is very important to us. We've received a recommendation from the Public Advisory Committee and have heard from the more than 3,500 people who responded to the survey which was available at the December public meeting and online, but we want to be sure we don't leave anyone out of the process. We are looking forward to a final decision on the bridge design in mid-January and then to moving ahead quickly with creating the new structure that is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally compatible and historically sensitive."
During Monday's presentation, project team members will present the design criteria for the new bridge and the feasible bridge types available for consideration. Attendees will be asked for input regarding features that should be included in the design, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, lighting and materials used, as well as the style of the new bridge. Those who attend will also be provided with an update on how the selection process has progressed since the meetings held in Ticonderoga earlier in December.
On December 15 the Public Advisory Committee -- organized as part of the public involvement plan for the Lake Champlain Bridge Project -- selected the Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge concept as its choice to replace the former bridge. The Modified Tied Arch is also the overwhelming favorite of those New York and Vermont residents who have already cast their vote or attended a previous public meeting. Construction on the new bridge is planned to begin in the Spring of 2010.
Public preference will be one of many factors considered as VTrans and NYSDOT choose a replacement bridge design, and public input will play a significant role in the final determination. A rendering of and more details about the Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge, as well as other bridge alternatives, can be found at https://www.nysdot.gov/lakechamplainbridge/alternatives
Those wishing to voice a preference can do so by sending their comments in writing to Jim Boni, NYSDOT, 328 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. Comments will be accepted until January 11, 2010.