Keeping Up With The Drawbridge
I noticed in this week's Islander Newspaper that there is a posting in the Legal Notices section regarding the drawbridge between Grand Isle and North Hero. What caught my attention is the times of operation. Last year, due to issues with the bridge, the schedule allowed for the bridge lifting on the hour between 8am and 8pm. Years prior, it had always been on the hour and on the half hour. It appears that the new norm is bridge opening just once an hour on the hour.
Just because the bridge could be open at the top of every hour, it won't necessarily happen. It all depends if there are boats that need to get through. But I always warn our guests to plan ahead if they will be heading to North Hero (by car, bicycle or by foot). If you can't get to the bridge at least a few minutes before the top of the hour, then wait until 10 minutes after the hour before you try to cross. That way you'll avoid having to wait at the bridge.
Another interesting thing to note is that the bridge replacement is going to start in 2018. You can read more about the drawbridge over Lake Champlain and its future at the Vermont Agency of Transportation's Web site. They have a FAQ's page that answers questions like, "When does the drawbridge operate and how many cars use it?" and "What are the bridge alternatives being considered?"