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Temporary Bridges Update #29

Thursday Wrap-Up: Main Street. As planned, Kubricky closed Main Street between the crosswalk connecting Triangle Park to the National Bank of Middlebury and the crosswalk connecting the Village Green to the Post Office. Flaggers helped manage traffic flow at the intersection with Seymour Street, Main Street, and Route 7. Flaggers also helped move traffic on Merchants Row as a truckload of cabinets were delivered to the Battell Block and a new sprinkler system lifted to the Battell rooftop as part of that building’s ongoing renovation.

From my observation point in the construction zone, most motorists quickly found their way around the detour and traffic flowed relatively smoothly during the day and during morning and evening rush. As expected, Cross Street took much of the cross-town traffic.

During the day Thursday, Kubricky mobilized its heavy equipment for the bridge demolition into the construction zone and established a perimeter consisting of an 8-foot-high chain-link fence around the entire construction zone.

Barre company Vermont Concrete Cutting saw-cut both the Main Street and Merchants Row roadways in preparation for the demolition of the two bridges and repaving of the road surfaces.

The Latest on Printer’s Alley. Printer’s Alley is now closed to pedestrians, as is the sidewalk connecting the National Bank of Middlebury to the Post Office and the sidewalk connecting Triangle Park to St. Stephen’s.

I confirmed today with Kubricky that Printer’s Alley will reopen Thursday, July 27. On that same day Kubricky will reestablish the sidewalk connection between the National Bank of Middlebury and the Post Office with a brand-new pedestrian bridge. I’ll have more detail on that structure next week.

In the meantime, on Friday evening I am putting signage up at either end of Printer’s Alley that provides very specific directions on how to get from Marble Works to Main Street and vice-versa.

What’s On Tap Friday: Main Street

Demolition begins in earnest as Kubricky puts its large equipment to work tearing up the asphalt and concrete road surface on Main Street between the two crosswalks and from sidewalk to sidewalk. This is important so that our new road surface is rebuilt from the ground up.

This work will be loud and dusty and it will continue 24 hours a day through the weekend. Once the final Vermont Rail train passes through town midday Friday, Kubricky will begin setting crane mats to protect the rail line during demolition and will mobilize an excavator on the rail line. With that work done, demolition of the Main Street Bridge will get underway.

By the time the next Vermont Rail train passes through town early Monday morning, Main Street will have been reduced to a dirt surface and there will be a large gap where the Main Street Bridge has stood for the past 100 years.

Starting Monday, J. P. Carrara & Sons will be on site to set the precast concrete bridge abutments and wingwalls, and the modular Mabey bridge will be transported from its staging site on Exchange Street into the construction zone, ready for assembly.

What’s on Tap Friday: Merchants Row. No activity on Merchants Row Friday or on the weekend.

Parking. There are five parking spaces at the upper end of Main Street on the Village Green side and three on the Community House side, one of which I’ve now marked as a handicapped spot. All parking on Merchants Row is open.

Community Volunteers Keeping Middlebury Open for Business

Many thanks to all who attended tonight’s orientation session for the project information booth. As a reminder, the Better Middlebury Partnership, the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Middlebury, and St. Stephen’s are partnering to staff an information booth during the construction. The goal is to direct residents and visitors through the downtown area during construction and to point out places of interest to our many summer visitors, such as those visiting Middlebury College or attending the Summer Language School. The information booth will sit in Cannon Park across from the Middlebury Town Offices on Main Street and will operate Monday-Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM. The booth will be staffed by volunteers from the community in two-hour shifts. We need your help, please consider volunteering! You can do so at the following link:

A Good Meal To End the Day

Thursday night I had a short break between closing up the construction zone and our evening orientation session for info booth volunteers and so I headed for dinner to Sabai Sabai, our Thai cuisine restaurant on Merchants Row. Great food, great space. If you go, say hello to Tip, the most gracious of hosts. I noticed that they do a brisk take-out business, too!

See you downtown.

Jim Gish

Community Liaison

Middlebury Bridge and Rail Project

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