Governor Phil Scott and Quebec Officials Attend the Historic East Richford-Sutton International Bridge Reopening
East Richford, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and Vermont and Quebec leadership were at the Canadian border today for the official opening of the East Richford-Sutton International Bridge after completion of a joint Vermont-Quebec project to rehabilitate the historic truss bridge.
“Vermont’s relationship with Canada is so important, and strengthening it is a focus of my administration,” said Governor Scott. “Though an international border lies between communities all along our state’s 90-mile border with Canada, this region is bonded together, and Quebec and Vermont mutually benefit from this close connection,” said Governor Scott. “This bridge – which has linked these communities since 1918 – helps make that possible and we look forward to welcoming our Canadian neighbors for many years to come.”
“Québec and Vermont share more than just a border. We are partners, allies, and family. Our shared economic history is important,” said Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie. “More than $2.2 billion USD worth of goods are traded between Vermont and Québec each year. This economic success depends on close cooperation, and on safe infrastructure. This collaboration was made possible by the Québec government and the State of Vermont’s high-level infrastructure co-management. Thanks to this joint effort, hundreds of thousands of businesses and tourists from both sides will once again enjoy crossing over Richford-Sutton International Bridge."
The original bridge was destroyed in the Great Flood of 1927 and rebuilt in 1929 as an historic truss bridge, gaining approval by then-President Calvin Coolidge, a Vermonter. That bridge was rebuilt in 1979. In 2014, concept and design work began to replace the existing bridge deck and make other necessary safety improvements, within the existing footprint and alignment.
“Despite being a lower volume crossing, the project required a very extensive permitting and approval process, including documentation for a Presidential Permit,” said Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “The close collaboration of the Vermont-Quebec project team and strong relationship with the federal agency partners in the U.S. and Canada were critical in ensuring the successful completion of the process.”
The bridge is jointly owned and maintained by the State of Vermont (approximately 80%) and the Province of Quebec (approximately 20%).
At a ceremony to commemorate the opening of the bridge Monday, Governor Scott was joined by Marie-Claude Francoeur, the Quebec Government Delegate to New England (representing Premier Francois Legault), Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn, Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle, and representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol and Canada Border Services Administration.