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Temporary Bridges Update #35

Merchants Row Bridge No More; Main Street To Reopen on Saturday; Kids To Meet Kubricky on Wednesday

Kubricky began demolishing the second of our two downtown bridges midafternoon Friday. By late evening the Merchants Row Bridge was no more, passing, like its counterpart on Main Street, into history after nearly 100 years of service to Middlebury. I took the photo you’re looking at on Saturday morning from just south of where the bridge once sat.

We had quite a few spectators on Friday night to watch the bridge demolition. At 9 PM, despite the construction activity and the road closure, there was hardly a table to be found at Sabai Sabai. Thanks to all who came downtown over the weekend.

After removing bridge debris from the rail corridor and separating the rebar and steel rails from concrete (which Champlain Construction trucked to their Case Street quarry for recycling), Kubricky excavated the location of the new bridge abutments on Merchants Row and then called it a week at 5 PM. Our friends at the Middlebury Inn and elsewhere around town were pleased to have a noise-free Saturday night.

Merchants Row Weekly Forecast. In the week ahead work on Merchants Row will follow the same pattern as Main Street last week: precast concrete bridge abutments manufactured by Carrara arrive on Monday morning and are set in place, the Mabey bridge is assembled and launched during the week, the western (Main Street) side of the roadway is backfilled and the bridge approach built up.

Meanwhile on Main Street. Kubricky installed the bridge deck on Friday. The northern (Post Office) side of the Main Street roadway will be backfilled and the bridge approach built up. Paving will take place on Wednesday. Main Street will reopen on Saturday, August 5. Our new pedestrian bridge seems to be a hit. A steady stream of pedestrians checked it out for the first time on Thursday and by the weekend it had already become a fixture of downtown. Governor Scott stopped by on Friday morning and joined other passersby in watching Kubricky work on the temporary bridge.

Bring the Kids Downtown Wednesday for a Construction Photo-Op. Our friends at the Better Middlebury Partnership have planned a fun late afternoon/evening event right in the heart of downtown Middlebury for Wednesday from 4 PM – 8 PM. Spend $25 or more at any one of our downtown stores, all of which will be open, and enter for a chance to win a grand prize of $500 in Middlebury Money, a second prize of $250, and five runner-up prizes of $50. Special note to Mom and Dad: Bring the Kids! Kubricky will set up an excavator right in the Merchants Row/Main Street intersection. The National Bank of Middlebury will give away kid hard hats and kids can have their picture taken in the cab of the excavator. Adding to the fun are live music, food, and being able to walk down the middle of Main Street with no traffic in sight. Come on down and do your bit to keep our downtown happy and healthy as we count down the days to reopening our downtown bridges.

Downtown Information Booth Lineup for Monday. Staffing the Middlebury Rail & Bridge Project information booth in Cannon Park on Monday are Sarah Durant (10-12), Chree Perkins (12-2), and Ed McGuire (2-4). Stop by, say hello, and pick up your copy of the latest downtown map showing how to get around town during while both downtown bridges are closed. Hours of operation = 10 AM – 4 PM Monday-Saturday.

The Main Street Express Swings Into Week 2. If you’re finding it a challenge to park downtown, remember that ACTR is running a continuous shuttle between two parking lots and the heart of downtown. Park at the Town Pool off of Buttolph Drive (behind Shaw’s) or at the Mill Street parking lot down Frog Hollow (behind Shafer’s Market & Deli) and ride hassle-free to the Town Offices and the Post Office. Wait time = approximately 10 minutes. Hours of operation = Monday – Saturday, 8 AM – 6 PM. Extended hours on Wednesday for the downtown event.

Plug In and Caffeine Up at Carol’s. After a late Friday night in the Merchants Row construction zone, I needed a pick-me-up on Saturday morning and so headed over to Carol’s Hungry Mind Café for a fave: double shot latte with whole milk. Carol’s is one of the centers of our community for meetings, hanging with friends, getting work done, or just enjoying a good cup of coffee and a treat. And you can watch all the action right out the window.

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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