Lake Champlain flood damage estimates for roads and bridges top $6 million

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                 CONTACT:  Sue Minter

May 13, 2011 5:00 PM

VTrans Road Improvements Complete

Flood Damage Assessments Continue to Mount

After eighteen (18) straight days, working at over a dozen sites along Lake Champlain, VTrans today reports that the majority of their effort to shore up roadways from flood damage is complete.

The tally of work over the past three weeks demonstrates more than one hundred and twenty five (125) state employees from all nine districts around the state worked side by side with private contractors and law enforcement personnel to ensure safe passage along roadways during some of the worst flooding in the state’s history.

Over sixty (60) private contractors supported state efforts to establish work zones and improve road conditions. The state called in seven (7) large excavators and fifty (50) dump trucks from private contractors, to augment state resources which were stretched to the limit. Over three hundred and seventy five (375) sections of jersey barriers were delivered to the trouble sites from across the state. Approximately fifty thousand (50,000) cubic yards of rip rap from six (6) quarries coupled with two hundred (200) cubic yards of crushed stone was utilized to repair and shore up decimated roadways near the lake.

In addition to lake shore flooding, fourteen (14) different sites reported major slides and slope failures along rivers and streams. Each of these reports created yet another emergency that required immediate attention.

Preliminary Damage Report

VTrans has been working with FEMA and Vermont Emergency Management to assess flood damage to town and state roads and bridges. Latest damage estimates from recent flooding for the FEMA eligible public assistance program (town roads and bridges) are in excess of $6 million. State-owned road damage estimates are now in excess of $1.9million. These figures are likely to increase as the flood waters recede.

Road Update:

As Lake Champlain water has receded, water is no longer crossing the traveled portions of Route 2 including the causeway leading to the Champlain Islands.  Weather forecast for more rain this weekend and into next week could bring water levels back up.  VTrans will continue to monitor the situation, and advise drivers to be mindful of possible changing road conditions.

Route 2/ Sandbar – Open to two lanes with no water or debris issues – Jersey barriers are still in place.

Route 2/Carry Bay – Work complete on armoring – no issues.

Route 2/Alburgh “Mothers Bend” – Work complete on armoring – no issues.

Route 2/Alburgh – North Hero Bridge – Work complete – no issues.

Route 78/Swanton – Work complete and delineators in place.  No issues with water/debris.

Route 129/Isle La Motte – Open to two lanes with water/debris not an issue.

Route 17 – Open.

Route 125 – Remains closed.

I-89 Southbound near Milton – Still reduced to one lane and awaiting repair.

Route 118 – Still reduced to one lane in some areas due to road work.

Route 122 – Remains one lane in Lyndon due to slope failure and awaiting repair.

Route 7/Highgate Springs – Open; water and debris no long an issue.

Route 36 – No change – still closed along the Bay.

Smugglers Notch is now open.

Ferries:  Charlotte to Essex Ferry still out of service.  Chimney Point and Grand Isle running on schedule.

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