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Temporary Bridges Update #25

Demolition of Downtown Bridges Begins Thursday, July 20

Following the Lion’s Club Auction and Barbeque, which takes place Wednesday, July 19, starting at 4:30 PM on the Village Green, Kubricky and its subcontractors arrive back in town to demolish the Main Street and Merchants Row bridges and install temporary spans. Work should wrap up the weekend of August 12.

As in June, during this 3 weeks-plus of construction, I’ll keep you informed with daily updates arriving by 8 AM. If you aren’t receiving these updates and would like to, please see my note at the bottom in red.

First, some key dates to keep in mind:

  • Thursday, July 20 - Wednesday, July 26. Main Street closed from the crosswalk connecting Triangle Park and the National Bank of Middlebury to the crosswalk connecting the Village Green and the Post Office. Merchants Row remains open.

  • Thursday, July 27 - Friday, August 4. Merchants Row closed from Main Street to Court Square/South Pleasant Street. Main Street remains closed, now from Bakery Lane to the crosswalk connecting the Village Green and the Post Office. No through traffic downtown.

  • Saturday, August 5. Main Street reopens. Merchants Row remains closed.

  • Saturday, August 12. Merchants Row reopens.

Important: Motorists traveling from the east side of town to the west side of town (e.g., commuting to Middlebury College or Porter Medical Center), or vice-versa, will need to take either Cross Street Bridge or Pulp Mill Bridge during the period Thursday, July 27 – Friday, August 4 when both bridges are under construction. Detour signs will direct traffic away from the central downtown.

In Tuesday’s update, I’ll cover the plans we’ve developed to try to keep disruption from the construction to a minimum. For now, let’s get started by looking at the schedule for Main Street.

Main Street Demolition Schedule

On Thursday, July 20, Kubricky will close the section of Main Street between the crosswalk connecting Triangle Park and the National Bank of Middlebury and the crosswalk connecting the Village Green and the Post Office. The entire area will be cordoned off with temporary construction fencing consisting of 8’ x 10’ chain-link panels set on aluminum feet and weighted with sandbags. In other words, no pedestrian access to the construction zone!

Once the construction zone is set up and equipment mobilized, Vermont Concrete Cutting & Concrete Solutions, out of Barre, will begin saw-cutting four sections of roadway on Main Street: inside the two crosswalks and on either side of the bridge abutment. The purpose of this work is to create a clean edge to pave against (the crosswalks) and to create a clean edge for demolition of the Main Street Bridge. Saw cutting involves cutting through asphalt and, in some cases, concrete beneath the asphalt roadway. Similar to June’s test pit work on Merchants Row, this activity will be noisy and dusty. Once their work is done on Main Street, Vermont Concrete Cutting will switch on Friday to Merchants Row, though here they will avoid lane closures and work around traffic and parked cars to minimize disruption.

Thursday hours = 7 AM to 5:30 PM.

Parking & Access. Parking downtown on Main Street will be limited to about 6 spaces on the Village Green side of Main Street near the Emma Willard triangle and one spot in front of the Community House. The other two spaces in front of the community house will be set aside for a downtown shuttle service that ACTR will run throughout the construction. I’ll cover that in tomorrow’s update.

Sidewalk access to the National Bank of Middlebury, the Post Office, and St. Stephen’s will remain open. Getting between the bank and the P.O. by foot during this first week of construction will require you to walk around or through the Village Green. Sidewalk detour signs will be posted to guide the way. Printer’s Alley will be closed to pedestrians (as well as vehicles) during this first week as well.

A new pedestrian bridge connecting the National Bank of Middlebury and the Post Office will reopen on Thursday, July 27, reestablishing the foot traffic connection between the two sides of town. Printer’s Alley will reopen to pedestrians on this date as well, reconnecting Marble Works to Main Street.

Weekend Work. On Friday, July 21, Kubricky will begin demolition of the Main Street Bridge. Sections of the demolished bridge/roadway will be dropped onto the rail line, which will be protected by crane mats. Middlebury’s Champlain Construction will truck the debris back to its yard, where it will be processed and reused as recycled asphalt and concrete.

Demolition work will continue 24 hours a day through the weekend.

The decision has been made that it will not be safe to place bleachers in Triangle Park as a viewing stand though Triangle Park will be open for kids of all ages to watch the demolition.

A Look Ahead to Next Week. Starting on Monday, July 24, Middlebury’s J. P. Carrara & Sons will set the precast abutments on either side of the demolished Main Street Bridge. Kubricky will begin assembling the Mabey Bridge (see my update of July 6 for details) on Main Street in front of the Post Office. The new bridge is scheduled to be launched into place the weekend of July 29 and reopened the following weekend.

When both Main Street and Merchants Row are closed to through traffic, the section of the Main Street roadway between Bakery Lane and Merchants Row will be open to delivery trucks.

Merchants Row Demolition

Demolition of the Merchants Row Bridge and installation of its temporary span will follow much the same pattern one week later. I’ll cover the schedule for Merchants Row in a separate update.

New FairPoint Conduit for Battell Block Will Limit Parking and Travel on Merchants Row on Monday, July 17. As I reported last Thursday, FairPoint has advised me that they will be installing a new conduit to serve the Battell Block on Monday, July 17. This will be an all-day operation similar to Nicholson’s drilling of test pits on Merchants Row during June and will involve saw-cutting the roadway and hammering out concrete under the roadway to expose the current conduit. The work will require FairPoint’s contractor to restrict parking on the lower section of Merchants Rows and to limit vehicle traffic to one travel lane on the Village Green side of Merchants Row. Flaggers will control traffic flow. Work will get underway at about 7:30 AM on Monday. Depending on timing and weather, it may be necessary to complete asphalting the roadway on Tuesday.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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