Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee today announced that the second ferry slips at the Lake Champlain Ferry between Crown Point, NY, and Addison, VT, have been completed and are open for service. Additionally, the states have lifted the temporary weight and axle vehicle restrictions imposed when the new temporary ferry opened earlier this month.“Allowing heavy vehicles such as trucks to use the temporary ferry allows the flow of commerce between Vermont and New York to return to its normal patterns,” VTrans Secretary Dill said. “Truckers can now use the ferry in the same capacity they used the bridge, which means shipping companies no longer have to bare additional expenses to transport their goods.”“The completion of the second slip of the temporary ferry at Crown Point will enable us to provide better and even more efficient ferry service between New York and Vermont,” Acting Commissioner Gee said. “In addition, both states are lifting the weight restrictions on vehicles using the ferry which will greatly reduce the travel time for larger commercial and farming vehicles traveling across the lake. We are pleased to restore a critical link for economic activity in this region as well as for the general public who count on this ferry as their connection between our states.”Two boats have been operating as part of the free ferry service since early February. Opening a second slip for vehicles to board and disembark the boat increases ferry efficiency, and provides a backup for mooring a ferry boat in the event that one needs service. For the ferry’s first few weeks of operation, a two-axle, 15-ton weight limit was in place for all vehicles. This temporary restriction has been lifted to allow standard-weight vehicles up to 40 tons and with multiple axles, within the states’ respective legal limits. The states are in the process of changing signage to reflect this change that the ferry is now un-posted for weight.The temporary ferry, operated by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company (LCTC), will run continuously 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year until the new bridge is opened, in accordance with LCTC operational policies. The ferry departs Vermont on the hour and half-hour, and New York on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour.The Crown Point ferry crossing takes about 15 minutes, which includes boarding and disembarking the boat. This rapid lake crossing, located a few hundred feet south of the former Lake Champlain Bridge, cuts commuting time between Vermont and New York drastically, and has reestablish commerce and emergency services along the corridor.Continuous operation of the ferry boats throughout the day prevents ice from forming in the vicinity of the ferry route and former Lake Champlain Bridge. No one knows how far adjacent regions of ice on the lake will be affected, but ferry traffic certainly weakens those areas. The unstable ice conditions make transit across the ice and recreational activities on the ice more dangerous than in previous years and people should use extreme caution when on or near the ice.Source: VTrans. 2.26.2010Please visit www.lcbclosure.org(link is external) or www.ferries.com(link is external) for the most current and up-to-date information about the ferry and progress on the new Lake Champlain Bridge. Truckers are also urged to refer to ferries.com for information and restrictions regarding transporting HAZMATS via the ferry service.