Lake Champlain Temporary Ferry Dock Fast-Track Design And Construction Challenges And Successes

Lens, John E.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Minutes after the Friday afternoon October 16, 2009 announcement that the 80 year old Lake Champlain Bridge was closed to traffic out of concern for public safety, emergency detour planning started at VTrans and NYSDoT. The closure severed a cross-lake link between Addison, VT and Crown Point, NY, which created a 76 mile detour and significant hardship for commuters, farmers working on both sides of Lake Champlain, and businesses relying on both traffic and employees commuting between Vermont and New York. Rehabilitating the bridge was determined to be economically and technically unfeasible and the design of a replacement bridge was accelerated for a spring 2010 construction start. In the meantime, a temporary ferry alternative was to be rushed into service beside the original bridge by February 2, 2010. This paper presents the case history of the fast-tracked ferry dock design and construction on the Vermont side. Twin 300-foot-long pile supported approach spans, a loading slip system and ice deflectors were designed, fabricated and constructed in 90 days in the fall/winter of 2009-2010. This chronicles the project from initial concepts through the extraordinary cooperation between state and federal agencies, and near round-the-clock winter construction on Lake Champlain. This project and its companion project on the New York shore succeeded by virtue of exceptional cooperation between seasoned regulatory, design, and construction participants and warrant this case-history presentation of the Vermont project to share within the industry as an example of overcoming extraordinary challenges.
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