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Subject: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: CatwomanofV on 12/29/09 at 12:58 pm

They blew up the bridge yesterday.




By Gordon Dritschilo Staff Writer - Published: December 29, 2009

Spectators who lined Route 125 to watch the Champlain Bridge implode Monday had to settle for hearing it.

Fog and snow reduced visibility to the point where the bridge and even the "bright flash" – which state officials said demolition charges would give off – were invisible to the hundreds who turned out for the event.



The Vermont Agency of Transportation made Route 125 one way toward the bridge and Route 17 one way away from it, and spectators were kept outside a 1,000-foot safety zone. The Vermont State Police mobile command center parked near the junction of routes 125 and 17.

By 9 a.m., the line of cars stretched more than a half mile into Bridport, where an ATV mounted game warden advised people to park and start walking — though numerous parking spots were evident farther in.

People gathered on various lakeside shoulders where openings in the treeline offered a view of the lake — or would have. Several said the bridge had been visible earlier that morning before disappearing in the thickening fog and falling snow.

The blast, which sounded like a rapid series of thunderclaps, suddenly interrupted conversations and set off at least one car alarm.

"I guess that's it," said Bill Sullivan of South Starksboro. "I brought a camera, but I didn't bother pulling it out. It's a really nice fog. It's a nice winter scene."

Many of the would-be spectators were upbeat while they expressed disappointment.

"The audio was great, but the video wasn't very good at all," joked Jim Peden of Shoreham, who said he and his wife walked two miles to get to his spot. "It's an adventure. We decided to come down here, not even sure if we could see it, just to be a part of it."

New York transportation officials called the demolition a success.

"The demolition went as planned," said Stanley Gee, the acting transportation department commissioner. "Now we'll start cleaning up. Pretty soon you'll see barges out there trying to remove the large sections of the bridge that went down in the main channel."

Leslie O'Connor was among the several hundred who gathered at one of the public viewing areas in Port Henry, N.Y., hoping to see the bridge implosion. She and her husband drove about an hour from their home in Hudson Falls to witness the event but were stymied by the weather.

"We've watched other implosions on television and were hoping to see something similar," she said. "At least we can say we were there."

Traffic crawled along Route 125 in Vermont as the crowd dispersed. A brief altercation between two pedestrians and a motorist diffused quickly with no apparent injuries.

Within an hour of the detonation, the fog had lifted and the now-empty support pillars were visible from the road.

The decades old bridge was closed Oct. 16, when engineers deemed it wasn't safe because of severe erosion in its concrete piers. The bridge, used by about 3,400 vehicles a day, was closed and never reopened, forcing motorists to take 100-mile detours or ride crowded ferries to reach their jobs. Local businesses that rely on bridge traffic have seen revenues plummet.

Opened on Aug. 26, 1929, with a ceremony attended by then-Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Lake Champlain Bridge was the nation's first long-span continuous truss bridge for highway traffic, and its steel girder arch design was used on numerous other spans.

Measures were taken to protect historic and cultural resources during the demolition, especially on the New York end of the bridge.

The ruins of two 18th-century forts are just off the Crown Point approach to the bridge, along with a newly renovated visitors center at the adjacent historic site. A few hundred yards east of the bridge stands the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse. It also was recently refurbished, and crews used plywood to protect a bronze bust created by French sculptor Auguste Rodin that is mounted on the front of the 100-year-old memorial facing the bridge.

The implosion was the start of a nearly two-year project to replace the bridge. The demolition conducted by Coeur d'Alene, Idaho-based Advanced Explosives Demolition was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but cold and ice delayed preparations.

AED's crew spent more than a week placing 800 pounds of explosives packed into more than 500 charges that brought the bridge down in sections. Another crew was to begin removing the tons of bridge debris from the channel, a task that's expected to be completed by the spring when construction of the new span is set to begin.

The new bridge is expected to open in the summer of 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

gordon.dritschilo@rutlandherald.com



http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20091229/NEWS04/912290356/1002/NEWS01

(Check out video on above link.)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPNRm4UVRbw


This one cracked me up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNLMg6_JCGM



Cat



Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: CatwomanofV on 12/29/09 at 3:43 pm

Here are a couple of photos that I took of it back in 1994.


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2497/4225568043_7d3dc4147a.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2720/4225568121_eba80cbf28.jpg




Cat

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: LyricBoy on 12/29/09 at 6:44 pm

Wow that's an awesome looking bridge.    8)  No doubt its replacement will be some bland-o design.  :-\\

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 12/29/09 at 11:16 pm


Wow that's an awesome looking bridge.    8)  No doubt its replacement will be some bland-o design.   :-\\


With bland-o not plunging into lake Champlain benefits!
::)

Yeah, I remember driving over that bridge on a scenic route to Montreal back in '93.  It was the middle of July and very beautiful up there.

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: CatwomanofV on 12/30/09 at 12:21 pm


Wow that's an awesome looking bridge.    8)  No doubt its replacement will be some bland-o design.   :-\\



There are 6 proposed designs.


https://www.nysdot.gov/regional-offices/region1/projects/lake-champlain-bridge/alternatives


I believe the one they picked is the one that looks a lot like the old one.



Cat

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: LyricBoy on 12/30/09 at 5:41 pm



There are 6 proposed designs.


https://www.nysdot.gov/regional-offices/region1/projects/lake-champlain-bridge/alternatives


I believe the one they picked is the one that looks a lot like the old one.



Cat


Four of the six look pretty cool.  The "Segmental Concrete bridge" and the "Long Span Steel Girder Bridge" are definitely bland-o.  8-P

My vote is for the "Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge", super cool design there.  8)

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 12/30/09 at 6:09 pm

I crossed that bridge while on vacation this summer.  I can kind of see why they had to have it imploded.

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: CatwomanofV on 12/30/09 at 6:19 pm


I crossed that bridge while on vacation this summer.  I can kind of see why they had to have it imploded.



WHAT?? You were up this way and didn't let us know? We live about 35 miles or so from the bridge-well, where the bridge USED to be.




Cat

Subject: Re: Good Bye, Champlain Bridge

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 12/30/09 at 11:52 pm


Four of the six look pretty cool.  The "Segmental Concrete bridge" and the "Long Span Steel Girder Bridge" are definitely bland-o.   8-P

My vote is for the "Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge", super cool design there.   8)


Maybe Vermont could hire some of those clowns from the Big Dig.  Drain the states coffers while cars sail headlong off the broken span!
:D

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