Open for Traffic

The ribbon cutting ceremony started just a bit after 2:30pm on November 7, 2011. Politicians and a few community members spoke. The governors shook hands. The crowd cheered and a boy determined to be the first one over the bridge ran ahead of everyone after the ribbon was cut. After a cloudy morning, the sun shined brightly, accompanying the typical November breeze over Lake Champlain.

With freshly painted lines, Route 17 awaits automobile traffic and the newly welcomed pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Looking to Vermont Route 17 East.

Looking across from Vermont - a few hours before the bridge is open to traffic.

My last ferry trip from Chimney Point to Crown Point. The ferry would shut down soon after the bridge opened.

The ceremony took place in New York, adjacent to the old Tollhouse, which is currently the Lake Champlain Information Center. The crowd walked across the bridge from New York to Vermont, some on the sidewalks and some in the middle of the road. A few 1929 cars and 1929ers (those who attended the 1929 bridge opening ceremony) drove across before the bridge followed by other classic cars. Pedestrians were given enough time to stroll across and gaze at the bridge before normal traffic began. What a spectacular event. I was so glad to be a part of it. It is hard to believe that this bridge is built and open already. Wow!

The crowd begins the walk across the bridge.

Walking from New York to Vermont.

One of the 1929 cars.

Wide sidewalks on both sides!

Another view in the center span.

Under the arch.

Looking back from Vermont.

Still in the middle of the roadway!

Just one of the beautiful vistas from the bridge (looking north on Lake Champlain).

What a day. I love it. The communities are so happy. It may not seem historic yet, but I bet everyone there remembers this day for his/her entire life.

Lake Champlain Bridge Arch Lift

Three weeks ago on a beautiful Friday, many Vermonters and New Yorkers spent the entire day watching the arch center span be lifted. After 14 months of watching the bridge construction through sun, rain, wind, snow, sleet, cold and all other weather, this sunny, perfectly calm day was one of my favorite days ever. You’ve probably seen many bridge photos, if you’ve been looking, since they are all over the web, so here are just a few (or many…) of my favorites. Enjoy.

(These are large files, so click and zoom for greater detail. They may appear blurry in a small size, but they are actually very clear when viewed larger.)

Just as the arch is arriving to the bridge. It was floated upstream from Port Henry.

Morning fog was heavy in the Champlain Valley.

View from the ferry.

The benefits of a zoom camera -- up close for scale. Port Henry NY in the background.

Looking from New York to Vermont, with the sun starting to shine through the clouds.

Looking to Chimney Point State Historic Site, VT. The bridge is behind the trees.

Around lunchtime, view from Vermont.

Later in the morning.

Picture perfect afternoon on the lake.

Zooming in from Crown Point State Historic Site, NY.

Mr. Stilts came along, too.

From New York.

It moved slowly. We picked a point to watch.

Just one of the many, many boats out for the show. Doesn't this make you want to visit the Champlain Valley?

View from New York at Crown Point Memorial Lighthouse and pier in the late afternoon.

Still watching movements.

Pier 4.

Around 5pm on the ferry.

The sun was still shining.

Heading back to Vermong on the ferry.

I couldn’t stay until the arch was set; that wouldn’t happen until after dark. But it was such a wonderful day; it was amazing to see this after seeing the entire project over the past 14 months. The bridge is not open yet, as there is still much work to do. But it’s getting closer everyday. What a project!

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You are welcome to use any of these photos, but please give credit to Kaitlin O’Shea and Preservation in Pink. Thanks!

Preservation Photos #98

The new Lake Champlain Bridge on August 27, 2011 at the arch raising. Photo taken around 5pm.

You may have seen my flickr link with some Lake Champlain Bridge photos (click on the sidebar link if you haven’t). I’ll share more this week. It was such a perfect day.