Lake Champlain Bridge: Preserving Cultural Heritage
Clough, Harbour & Associates LLP
Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.
Vermont Agency of Transportation
Adirondack Park Agency
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Federal Highway Administration, New York Division
Federal Highway Administration, Vermont Division
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
U.S. Coast Guard
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
University of Vermont Consulting Archaeology Program
The Lake Champlain Bridge, bordering New York and Vermont, is a highly visible local landmark and a sterling example of early 20th-century engineering. The New York State Department of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and other project partners saw replacing the bridge as an opportunity to enhance an understanding of regional heritage while protecting the cultural value of the original bridge. They successfully preserved the historical and cultural significance of this local landmark through an innovative approach that included conducting archaeological reconnaissance and monitoring, protecting underground cultural artifacts through state-of-the-practice foundation techniques, and completing two programmatic agreements with the States' Historic Preservation Offices to facilitate the Section 106 process.
Throughout the bridge replacement work, the project partners were exceptionally sensitive to the significant local support for the original bridge and to its aesthetic merits. The project's use of visualization tools ensured that the new, wider bridge would have no additional visual impacts to the adjacent landscape. Finally, the project's commemoration program, which includes a resource guide, filmed oral history accounts, a documentary film, a popular history booklet and interpretive displays, has boosted the appeal of several local historic sites and garnered considerable positive attention from stakeholders. The project's innovative construction practices and elaborate commemoration program exemplify commitment to the preservation of local cultural and historical resources.
The Lake Champlain Bridge Project included archaeological reconnaissance and monitoring to locate and identify historical and cultural resources near the project site.
Photo: University of Vermont Consulting Archaeology Program