The first Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York, and Chimney Point, Vermont, opened in 1929. Primarily serving tourists when it opened, it ultimately became an important connection for residents and businesses across the region. A testament to modern engineering, the design of the bridge with its high center arch was a perfect melding of form and function.————————————
Charles M. Spofford, the bridge designer, adapted the continuous truss technology used for railroads in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to achieve a structurally efficient and aesthetically pleasing highway bridge. His innovation resulted in a curving transition between the flat approach decks on either side of the bridge and the central channel arch, a shape reminiscent of the mountains that served as the structure's backdrop. The beloved landmark served the region for 80 years until its closing and subsequent demolition due to safety concerns in 2009.
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]
· Charles M. Spofford's adaptation of continuous truss technology for the 1929 Crown Point Bridge set a precedent for this new bridge type in the decades that followed.
· The 1929 bridge reflected the beauty of its surroundings in its own graceful form.
· Spofford's cantilevered design allowed the arched center span to be constructed without
falsework (temporary supports) so that the navigation channel could remain open to boat traffic.
· Until its 2009 demolition, residents of Port Henry had excellent views of the 1929 bridge from just about anywhere in the village, and especially from this pier. At night, the lights of the bridge were a reassuring presence across the lake.
These two signs were prepared as part of a larger program of commemoration to mitigate the loss of the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge. It was developed in response to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and was funded jointly by the New York State Department of Transportation, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration.