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Temporary Bridges Update #32

Tuesday Wrap-Up. Lots of activity in the construction zone today. Kubricky built up the southern approach to the bridge abutment as truckload after truckload brought backfill in through Merchants Row. As I’ve pointed out – and is now clear visually – the roadway will sit higher than before. This is to maintain the current vertical clearance for trains passing underneath the thicker superstructure of the new span. To keep traffic flowing on Merchants Row required taking parking alongside Triangle Park and backing trucks into the construction zone. Thanks in particular to IPJ Real Estate, The Vermont Book Shop, Main Street Stationery, and Sweet Cecily for bearing with us today.

At the north end of the construction zone, Kubricky began assembling the Mabey bridge (see photo). By 5 PM, four of the six 10-foot panels had been put together in preparation for launching the bridge later this week. Kubricky also built up the approaches to the new pedestrian bridge in preparation for its opening on Thursday.

Finally, FairPoint was also back in town today, working on new connections to the Battell Block. They complete their work tomorrow.

What’s On Tap Wednesday: Main Street. Kubricky will finish assembling the Mabey bridge on the Post Office end of Main Street. In preparation for its opening on Thursday, Kubricky will pave the approaches to the pedestrian bridge with asphalt and set new concrete sidewalks and curbing in front of the National Bank of Middlebury. Printer’s Alley reopens on Thursday. Big sigh of relief from our friends in Marble Works. Finally, Kubricky will reset drainage structures in the construction zone to align with the new roadway surface.

Reconstruction of South Pleasant Street Sidewalk Rescheduled. In response to concerns about the timing of the sidewalk and curbing work on South Pleasant Street, which was slated to begin this week, the start of the project has been postponed until August 14, after the completion of work on the temporary bridges.

The Town wanted me to let you know that the delay in the South Pleasant Street sidewalk and curbing work will also delay completion of the North Pleasant Street sidewalk and curbing work, which is currently underway, as the contract was bid and timed to provide cost efficiency by bringing in the concrete and curbing crews to complete both projects at the same time.

The Town will likely absorb additional cost as a result of the reschedule but in my discussions with those involved today everyone felt it was important to show support for the downtown business community during the challenging conditions of the temporary bridges construction project.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Both Main Street and Merchants Row closed from Thursday, July 27, through Friday, August 4. Main Street reopens on Saturday, August 5. No through traffic downtown.

Downtown Information Booth Lineup for Wednesday. Staffing the Middlebury Rail & Bridge Project information booth in Cannon Park on Wednesday are Sandy Archibald (10-12), Judy Holler (12-2), and Mary McGuire (2-4). Stop by and say hello. A reminder that hours of operation are 10 AM – 4 PM Monday-Saturday.

Info Session at Eastview. I’ll be giving the folks at Eastview an overview of the temporary bridges project on Wednesday at 3 PM. Looking forward to seeing everyone there, including my mother-in-law, Margaret Burns, young in heart and mind and entering her 100th year this month.

New Pick-Up Service at Ollie’s. The folks at The Vermont Book Shop wanted me to let you know that if you’re finding it difficult to get to their Main Street store to browse, shop, or pick up special orders during construction, you can pick up your prepaid orders at Ollie's Other Place, which is located on Washington Street next to Middlebury Bagel & Deli and the Co-op. You can reach them by phone, email, the web, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or (so they tell me) carrier pigeon. They will gather, wrap, package, and deliver your purchases to the quieter side of town within 24 hours. Pick-up hours are 11 AM - 3 PM Tuesday – Saturday, now through Friday, August 18. Personal Note: We’re really fortunate to have a bookstore in Middlebury. Consider doubling down on your summer reading and buying a few books during the construction season. My personal recommendation: Anything Is Possible, Elizabeth Strout’s new novel. It will transport you.

See you downtown.

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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