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Temporary Bridges Update #39

Grand Prize Winner Announced; Main Street Reopens Tomorrow

It’s been a bit frenetic downtown lately so I thought I would start today’s update by pointing out some inspirational artwork within a stone’s throw of the construction on Merchants Row.

I’ve spent several days now admiring the striking oil on canvas painting Cape Roses by Janis Sanders that’s in the Main Street window of Edgewater Gallery on the Green. You’ll want to see this for yourself and then head into the gallery. You can learn more out Edgewater Gallery’s “Old Friends & New Faces” August exhibit at

Also, I would encourage you to take a look at the Orwell Artists exhibit now on display in Carol’s Hungry Mind Café. Orwell Artists was founded in 2016 to provide an opportunity for local artists, artisans, and craftspeople to share their art with one another and with us. Two paintings stood out to me. Below the Falls, Middlebury by Carol Robertson Little and Fortune in the Wind by Susan Powers.

In demanding times, I’m reminded that art has the power to soothe and inspire.

Now on to the fun stuff. We have winners to announce!

Last night’s grand prize winner of a $500 Middlebury Money gift certificate at the Downtown Block Party is Susan Gowen. The two second prizes of $250 belong to Patti Marrinan and Grace McGrath. And our $50 gift certificate winners are Kelly Gill, Stacey Rainey, Victoria DeWind, H. McFerran, and Chip Mayer. Winners, pick up your gift certificates at the Addison County Chamber of Commerce at 93 Court Street in Middlebury between 9:30 AM and 4 PM.

And the winners of last week’s ACTR ridership $50 gift certificates are Wendy Hunt, Mary Lafountain, M. Nadeall, Becka Sealy, and Alice Quesnal. These winners can also pick up their gift certificates at the Chamber.

Congrats to all!

Thursday Wrap-Up. J. Hutchins finished paving the Main Street roadway, including those new areas that slope down to the sidewalk, which were done by hand. I reviewed the Main Street parking space plan with Kubricky, the Department of Public Works, and our VTrans inspector in preparation for line striping, which will take place tomorrow (see my note below for a rundown on Main Street parking). Also on Main Street, subcontractor Lafayette Highway Specialties out of Essex Junction VT, extended the pedestrian bridge with chain-link fence and also set fencing at the termination of the Main Street sidewalk on either side of the rail line on the St. Stephen’s side of Main Street. Please note: until the tunnel is built in 2020, you will be able to walk up Main Street only on the Post Office side of the street.

Over on Merchants Row, Kubricky continued work on the Mabey bridge while loading out equipment on the west side of the bridge so that it could begin backfilling the roadway in preparation for paving next week (see photo). On the east side of the bridge, Kubricky began excavating the roadway in preparation for backfilling and paving.

What’s on Tap Friday. Lafayette will install bridge guardrails and, weather permitting, Barre VT company L&D Safety Marking will line the roadway and parking spaces on Main Street in preparation for opening the roadway on Saturday. Backfilling and grading is the order of the day on Merchants Row as Kubricky also puts the deck panels on the Mabey bridge.

Parking on Main Street. As you’ve noticed, the Main Street temporary bridge sits higher than previously. This is in order to maintain the same vertical clearance for the railroad with a thicker bridge structure now in place. Several folks have asked me, “Will the tunnel when it’s built also sit this high?” The answer to that is No. Main Street will return to its previous elevation, and the track will be lowered to achieve the new vertical clearance for trains.

So here’s where we end up with parking on Main Street: 13 spaces on the Post Office side and 19 spaces on the St. Stephen’s side for a total of 32 parking spaces on Main Street. That’s between Main Street’s intersections with Merchants Row and with Seymour Street. This compares with 38 spaces before the temporary bridge, for a net loss of 5 spaces. The most noticeable changes are that we now have diagonal parking in front of Triangle Park and we’ve lost most of the parking in front of the National Bank of Middlebury, due to the steep slope to the sidewalk. There are three handicapped spots: one in front of the National Bank, one in front of St. Stephen’s near the crosswalk, and one right in front of the Post Office. Please be cautious in backing out of the diagonal spaces in front of St. Stephen’s as you now have the side of the truss bridge in your line of sight as well as the Main Street roadway.

Downtown Information Booth Lineup for Friday. Staffing the Middlebury Rail & Bridge Project information booth in Cannon Park on Friday are Karen Duguay (10-12), Sue Hoxie (12-2), and Elizabeth Marino (2-4). Saturday’s lineup includes Eric Davis, John Snyder-White, and Karen Sinnock. Stop by and say hello to our volunteers, who will be showcasing all the great info on our town available at the booth.

That’s all for today. 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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