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Temporary Bridges Update #33

No Through Traffic Downtown Starts Today, Ends August 5

Before I summarize Wednesday’s construction activity downtown (and it was a big day on Main Street), let me remind everyone that Kubricky will be closing Merchants Row Thursday morning at 7 AM.

Merchants Row will remain closed until Saturday, August 12. Main Street will remain closed until Saturday, August 5, and its closure will now extend from Main Street’s intersection with Bakery Lane and Mill Street up to just shy of Seymour Street. Bakery Lane, Mill Street, and Seymour Street remain open to through traffic.

If you are traveling from one side of town to the other, you will need to take either Cross Street Bridge or Pulp Mill Bridge. If you take the latter, please take care driving through our historic wooden bridge.

I can’t say this often enough: every business and every building remains open and accessible during this upcoming period. And the Main Street Express downtown shuttle is providing continuous service from the Mill Street and Memorial Sports Center parking lots directly into town with stops at the Post Office and Town Offices.

Wednesday Wrap-Up. Another busy day on Main Street, highlighted by the late-afternoon launch of the Mabey Bridge, which is now in place spanning the rail line on Main Street. This was a complex, three-hour-plus operation that involved rolling the 44,000-pound truss bridge across the open span. A large excavator pushed while a 100-ton crane kept the nose held up and the bridge inched its way into place (see photo). Separately, Kubricky finished building up and paving the approaches to the new pedestrian bridge in preparation for its opening on Thursday. They also set new concrete sidewalks and curbing in front of the National Bank of Middlebury.

What’s On Tap Thursday: Main Street. In what is forecast to be another rainy day in this season of rain, Kubricky will begin excavating asphalt from the north end of the Main Street roadway. During the day, Kubricky will open Printer’s Alley to pedestrian traffic and open the new pedestrian bridge now connecting the National Bank to the Post Office. Pedestrians will be protected from the construction areas by an 8-foot-high chain link fence so feel free to come on down and walk the new bridge. As I mentioned, the closure of Main Street will be extended out to Main Street’s intersection with Bakery Lane and Mill Street. Delivery vehicles will be able to enter Main Street.

What’s On Tap Thursday: Merchants Row. Kubricky will close the entire length of Merchants Row, from Main Street to Court Square and South Pleasant Street, to all vehicular traffic starting at 7 AM. As was the case last week with Main Street, the street will first be closed with traffic cones and then during the day with 8 x 10 foot panels of chain-link fence. Flaggers will help direct traffic at the top end of Merchants Row. Kubricky will mobilize its equipment into Merchants Row and then begin excavating the asphalt and concrete from the western (Edgewater Gallery) end of Merchants Row. It will be noisy, but most have found it not too bad with doors and windows closed.

Downtown Information Booth Lineup for Wednesday. Staffing the Middlebury Rail & Bridge Project information booth in Cannon Park on Wednesday are Susan Anderson-Ray (10-12), Ann LaFiandra (12-2), and Jim Pugh (2-4). Stop by and say hello. A reminder that hours of operation are 10 AM – 4 PM Monday-Saturday.

A Healthy Parking Tip. Several folks have told me that they are using the construction activity and the lack of parking right downtown to get in shape by doing more walking. If that sounds like you, there are 20 parking spaces in the long block between of Washington Street between High Street (the Green Peppers corner) and the five-way intersection. It’s rare that more than half a dozen of these spaces are taken. Most of us would never think of parking there to walk into town, but it’s no more than a 15-minute walk to the far side of downtown.

Thinking of Howard Frank Mosher. My introduction to Vermont 20-some years ago was Northern Borders. When I served as President of the Ilsley Board of Trustees, it was my good fortune to have Howard over to our house for dinner before a reading at the library. Howard kept us entertained with some good stories and then disappeared upstairs to admire our youngest son Jack’s signed baseball collection. I hope you’ll have an opportunity to attend Jay Craven’s special tribute to one of Vermont’s great writers this Sunday, July 30, at Town Hall Theater. I can promise you this: no construction noise that evening! For more info:

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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