Friday, November 12, 2010

Crown Point Bridge Construction

About a year ago the old Crown Point Bridge was demolished after being deemed unsafe and in danger of collapsing into the lake along with whatever cars and passengers happened to be on the bridge at the time (Click here for video of the demolition explosion - yes, you will have to suffer through an ad). The loss of the Bridge has caused tremendous stress for thousands of people living on both sides of Lake Champlain. Many businesses are dependent on free flowing traffic across the Lake between Vermont and New York. The closest Specialized Life Saving Medical Care, Jobs, Entertainment, Major Sources for Consumer Products - cars, appliances, groceries, etc. lay across the lake for many in the towns and villages near the bridgehead in New York. Soon after the destruction, clean up and construction of a new bridge was started.
Above is an artist rendering of the new bridge. It is slated to be completed by Oct. of 2011 and is reportedly on schedule.

Yesterday, Naomi and I took a drive down to the construction site to see how the new bridge is coming along. We took the opportunity to have lunch at the Bridge Restaurant - now renamed the "NO" Bridge Restaurant. Here are some photos of the project.

Two new pedestals for the approach to the bridge from the Vermont side. One of the cranes involved in the construction is positioned beween the two.

A Tug pushes a barge with two cement trucks into position to pump cement into the footing for a pier for the new bridge. This gives some idea of the size and scope or the $70 million effort to reconnect people with jobs and services.

One of the two ferries providing year round free 24 hour service across the lake at Crown Point until the new bridge is finished.

The Daily Special for Veterans Day at the rechristened restaurant on the Vermont side of the bridge. Great food! The cheerful waitress lives on the New York side and commutes via the ferry every day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cleaning the flue 10/30/10

Dreary fall day with drizzle of rain all day and highs in the mid 40s. Doing a few outdoor chores around the place to get ready for winter and before I'm laid up because of upcoming toe surgery. Protecting woody stemmed perennials from mice girdling their bark by wrapping them in cloth. Picking some late season broccoli - it is so amazingly sweet after first frosts. Generally getting cold and wet. Then, this afternoon I was inspired to clean the flue to the wood stove in the bedroom with the flue brush. Seems a fitting task for Halloween eve with the associated soot and blackness and black top hat and perching precariously on a roof top - a wet and slick one at that. Naomi freaks out (a little hyperbole on my part here) because she is afraid I'll fall off and kill myself - especially with my bad hip and all. So, she is torn between hiding somewhere down in the house where she can't see or hear (except maybe the thud of me falling off the roof), and keeping an eye on me and offering cautionary admonitions, etc. I help her out of the quandary by calling to her to hand me some additional equipment I need to do the job. Anyway, the job is well done and I'm no worse for wear. Pushing back by another year the time when I'll no longer be able to do the chores and have to hire someone to take care of us.