SWANTON — The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is proposing using upwards of $2 million to remove a portion of the Missisquoi causeway even though scientists have determined the impact on phosphorous concentrations in Missisquoi Bay will be negligible.

VTrans issued a draft scoping report on the causeway in September, which recommended removing 330 feet of the eastern arm of the causeway.

Before the final report is issued, VTrans will be hosting a public meeting on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Swanton Village Offices on the recommendation to remove a portion of the causeway.

Portions of the causeway, which supported a drawbridge across the lake, were left in place when a new bridge was put in a decade ago. Those sections of causeway were left because they provide both basking grounds and hibernation habitat for the soft-shelled spiny turtle, which is on the state’s threatened and endangered list.

In addition, a peer-reviewed scientific study determined removing the entire causeway would reduce phosphorous in Missisquoi Bay by just 1 percent, while increasing phosphorous in the Northeast Arm of Lake Champlain by a comparable amount.

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