February 01, 2010
Addison, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas and Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the free, 24-hour temporary ferry between Crown Point, New York and Addison, Vermont, is now open to the public. Governor Douglas was joined by New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee to greet the first passengers of the new temporary ferry near the site of the Lake Champlain Bridge. The ferry began running at 5:00 a.m. this morning – in time for the early morning commuters as they headed off to work.
“This is an important step to restoring the economic and community connections that have been severed by the closing of the Champlain Bridge,” Governor Douglas said. “This new ferry will run continually until a new bridge is constructed, and its 24-hour service will allow residents and businesses from both states to begin to return to something very close to normal.”
“I was pleased to be on hand in Crown Point last week to announce that the ferry would soon open to help get New Yorkers and Vermonters back to more normal lifestyle,” Governor David A. Paterson said. “Since the bridge closed, New York’s Department of Transportation and Vermont’s Agency of Transportation have worked tirelessly to reconnect our States and reestablish commerce throughout this corridor. Now that the ferry is open, we look forward to building the new signature Lake Champlain Bridge in the footprint of the former one.”
For the ferry’s first few weeks of operation, there will be a two axle, 15-ton weight limit for vehicles without exception. This temporary restriction will be increased to 40 tons and multiple axles within a few weeks to coincide with the opening of a second ferry slip.
The new temporary ferry, operated by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, will provide free, year-round, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service connecting Addison, Vermont to Crown Point, New York. The ferry will depart Vermont on the hour and half-hour, and New York on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour. The crossing is expected to take about 15 minutes, which includes boarding and disembarking the boat. Commuting time between Vermont and New York will be cut drastically, reestablishing commerce and emergency services along the corridor just a few hundred feet south of the former Champlain Bridge.
Work continues to construct a second ferry slip on both sides, at which time a second boat will be added at Crown Point. Shortly thereafter, ferry service at Essex/Charlotte will be scaled back and cease to be free.
“We believe it will take a little while for people to adjust their commuting behavior and transition their travel patterns back to Crown Point,” said David Dill, Vermont’s Transportation Secretary. “To ensure that no one is caught off guard, we will continue to subsidize the Essex/Charlotte ferry for a couple of weeks, but eventually that service will return to its normal fee-for-service operation.”
“I commend the transportation staff and contractors in both New York and Vermont for their dedicated efforts to build the roads, ramps and docks necessary to support the new temporary ferry operation at Crown Point,” said Acting Commissioner Gee. “Despite the bitter cold, high wind, snow, and other winter weather, nothing stopped them from accomplishing this important goal. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who put their own lives on hold to help us get the lives of those in the North Country back on track as soon as possible.”
Construction of the new Crown Point ferry began in November shortly following the sudden closure of the Champlain Bridge. The ferry will remain in service until a new bridge is constructed, which is expected to be by the end of summer 2011.
Please visit the websites www.lcbclosure.org or www.ferries.com for the most current and up-to-date information about the ferry and progress on the new Lake Champlain Bridge.
Source: Agency of Transportation
Last Updated at: February 01, 2010 10:40:18