New York Roads - NY 185

NY 185

Whether EB or WB, it seems NY 185 is still the former reference route, but that's because NYSDOT doesn't change how it inventories a roadway when the designation changes, so that maintenance logs and other historical data can be kept straight. NY 185 started out as NY 347 (since reassigned to Long Island), then became the northern end of NY 8 until the 1960s. NY 910L came into existence when NYSDOT decided it didn't like 8 coming up that far. Was it the NY 8/9N/22 triplex? If so, I have a solution: truncate NY 9N. It's a loopy route that meanders everywhere but in a straight line. End it at 8, then make the northern 9N something else. Since it's a loop off of 22, how about 22C? Or there's always the next available 9 offshoot - 9S.

Another one of those NY 910L reference markers pops up WB leaving the new bridge. The sign above it is new (albeit already damaged somehow), so that proves this won't become "0185." (Side note - I do like the superscript "TO," even if it's not "proper.")

In the parking area just southwest of the bridge, then poking around in the grass. That's a survey marker, not a border monument.

Following bridge completion, the old route straight to Champlain Bridge was converted into the parking lot, bending NY 185 around a large loop so that it would approach the new Lake Champlain Bridge (notice subtle name change) head-on.

July 3, 2011: a beautiful day to photograph bridge construction. The old Champlain Bridge was declared structurally unsafe after larger than expected cracks were discovered in the piers. State engineers determined that the whole thing, except the foundations, would have to be destroyed, severing the link between local communities on both sides that was used by commuters, emergency personnel, school outings... the list goes on. NYSDOT hastily instituted a ferry, one that promised to operate year-round despite lake ice, and quickly brought engineering firms together to get bids for a rush job to put in the new bridge. (They had thought there was plenty of time to bat about designs and go through the usual process.) Due to the abbreviated schedule, only a couple of designs were whisked in front of locals. They favored the tied arch concept, but it didn't look archlike enough - solved by tying the shape into the piers. The old bridge was closed in October 2009, demolished by the end of the year, and replaced less than two years after that. Two years without a bridge seems like a long time, but for a massive concrete and steel structure, with design work not even started at any level, that's lightning-quick. Although the most visible parts of the bridge are concrete, the underpinnings are human-tall I-beams that can probably support an entire parade of fire trucks. Which they did, on the 5/19/12 Bridge Celebration day.

While I'm up on the bridge, let's enjoy the sunset-tinged sky over Lake Champlain to the east and the Crown Point fort to the north.

Heading back west to the parking lot.

A model of the new bridge, prepared by the Castleton Village School in VT but displayed on the NY side during the May 19 Bridge Celebration.

Everyone was on foot that day, and I do mean everyone - people from multiple counties on both sides of the bridge. The communities really came together during the time the bridge was out, and helped in planning the bridge and construction contingencies, so it was fitting that the celebration was dedicated to, and geared toward, the local population. So here I am, on foot, walking around the small riverside battlement of the Crown Point fort and down under the bridge to the south side for a more secluded view, one without a fife and drum corps in the way.

The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse happens to be on the south side, and happened to be open that day, so it was a no-brainer to catch some views from up high. From here, the arch is plainly a separate structural piece from the rest of the bridge - it was assembled separately and floated up the lake to this spot, then painstakingly raised into place, precisely fitting where the approaches ended on both sides. Credit to the engineers for making everything work within a hundredth of an inch, especially on such a quick project.

I now walk over the bridge toward Vermont, but photos for this NY page stop at the border. You'll have to continue on VT 17, linked below.

Looking south along Lake Champlain, with the lighthouse to the right.

Views of the New York side to the north, then following the lake and the Vermont border to the northeast.

Back west toward NY. Hey, this isn't I-189! How did that shield get in there? (Hey, who invited roadgeeks to a parade?)

Let's close with the view from the top of the main fort, up on a hill like a fort ought to be.

Lake Champlain Bridge Celebration, 5/19/12
Into Vermont on VT 17 with more bridge views

To NY 9N
To NY 22
Back to New York Roads
Back to Roads