Public Input Sought for Bridge Reopening Celebration

The Lake Champlain Bridge Coalition has announced the formation of the Lake Champlain Bridge Community (LCB Community). The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has entrusted the Coalition and LCB Community to create, plan and lead the public festivities that will celebrate the replacement and re-opening of the Lake Champlain Bridge. The celebration will also showcase the reunited regional communities of Addison, Vt. and Crown Point, N.Y.

The LCB Community will hold a public meeting on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the Crown Point Historic Site Museum. The purpose of the public meeting is to encourage area residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to join the LCB Community and become involved in the celebration planning by serving on a committee, volunteering time or offering ideas. If anyone is unable to attend this meeting, they are still welcome to join the LCB Community or offer their ideas for the event. The committees will plan and organize a proposed two-day event and coordinate fundraising and marketing of the celebration.

“When NYSDOT entrusted the planning of this historic event to us, they emphasized that this should be a ‘grassroots’ celebration,” said Karen Hennessey, co-chair of the LCB Community and owner of Sugar Hill Manor B&B, Crown Point, NY. “That’s why it’s so important for us to reach out to community members and gather input as to what shape and form these celebration activities should take. We welcome everyone’s input—whether or not you can be at the meeting on January 24th.”

The date of the bridge re-opening is yet to be announced by New York’s and Vermont’s transportation departments and Flatiron Construction, the firm constructing the new bridge. Early indications suggest the re-opening will be in early- to mid-October 2011.

“The 1929 celebration of the first Lake Champlain Bridge has been the inspiration and guiding force for this upcoming event,” said Lorraine Franklin, co-chair of the LCB Community and owner of West Addison General Store. “Forty thousand people attended the opening in 1929, and we hope our event will far surpass that landmark celebration. This will be our celebration, and we all look forward to the day the second Lake Champlain Bridge is open.”

Members of the Lake Champlain Bridge Community include area residents, representatives from local business, historical sites, local governments, and chambers of commerce.

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