Lake Champlain Bridge Replacement

Crown Point, New York, and Chimney Point, Vermont


Reconnecting two communities severed by the closure of an 80-year-old structure


• Replacement designed in 10 weeks
• Heavy-lift scheme facilitates construction
• Arch set in place two years after preliminary engineering began

When the New York State Department of Transportation, compelled by safety issues, closed the 80-year-old Lake Champlain Bridge, it severed the lifeline between two rural communities. After a state of emergency was declared, NYSDOT and co-owner Vermont Agency of Transportation selected HNTB to design an iconic replacement structure.

Working in 3-D and with unprecedented stakeholder collaboration, HNTB produced a “modified” network tied arch design in 10 weeks — typically a year-long process. The modified network tied arch bridge, created for maximum constructability, features a center arch span that was built off-site at the same time the approaches were being constructed. The center arch span was floated in, lifted 75 feet and attached on Aug. 26, 2011 —two years to the day after preliminary engineering began.

The new Lake Champlain Bridge, connecting Crown Point, New York, and Chimney Point, Vermont, began as a crisis but resulted in an incredibly successful, collaborative effort progressed in unprecedented time.