One lane on the Champlain Bridge was abruptly closed Thursday morning because of a crack in an expansion joint.

The bridge corporation closed the South Shore-bound lane at 8 a.m. when the hole was discovered, and during the day on Thursday will cover the hole with a heavy steel plate.

At some point this weekend the expansion joint will be repaired.

Spokespeople for the bridge say this type of damage happens almost a dozen times a year, and is the result of freezing and thawing.