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Lake Champlain Bridge Commemoration

The 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge with a rainbow as seen from Crown Point State Historic Site in New York
1929 Lake Champlain Bridge as seen from the ruins of Fort St. Frédéric on the grounds of Crown Point State Historic Site, New York

Lake Champlain Bridge: 1929 - 2009
 
The 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge was both an engineering marvel and a cultural landmark, spanning the lake between Chimney Point, Vermont and Crown Point, New York. Eighty years after opening, it was demolished on December 28, 2009. This website tells the story of this beautiful and remarkable bridge, the people it served and its legacy for bridge building in the United States.

About this website

This website commemorates the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, a 2,186-foot continuous truss bridge designed by Charles M. Spofford. This first highway bridge to cross Lake Champlain was a joint undertaking by the states of New York and Vermont.

The iconic bridge was beloved locally and admired by engineers for its innovative design.  Its graceful, arching trusses blended well with the beautiful lake setting between the Adirondack and Green Mountains. The bridge’s innovative continuous truss technology was emulated in other bridges for many decades.  In February 2009, the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in October 2009, it was nominated for National Historic Landmark status.

In October 2009, an underwater inspection of the bridge’s piers revealed serious cracks that led to a decision to close and, ultimately to demolish the bridge. The abrupt closing of the bridge cut people off from jobs, medical services, families, friends and businesses. To preserve the memory of the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, a Commemoration Plan was developed. This website is one of several commemoration activities, providing a portal to all of the other commemoration products, all of which were funded by New York Department of Transportation, Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.