Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two towns suffer from bridge closure

This recent story reports on the consequences of the October closure of the Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York, population 2,119, and Chimney Point, Vermont, which is not a census designated place but is part of Addison County. Safety concerns led to the closure of the bridge, which will be demolished in a few days. The story focuses on the economic impact of the closure, as well as the inconvenience caused for area residents.
Generally, the closing has hit Vermont businesses and the New York residents who work at and patronize them hard. The bridge, one of only two connecting the states across Lake Champlain, was used by about 3,400 drivers a day who now must travel around the northern end of the lake to the other span, adding two hours and 100 miles to the round trip. Or they are forced to take one of two ferries that run in the winter.
A Vermont resident who owns a restaurant near the bridge, and who has borrowed from her retirement savings to keep it open in the wake of the closure, said of the Vermonters, "“We lost our life’s blood.” Of the New York residents, she said, "They lost their life’s line.”

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