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Temporary Bridges Update #54

What We Think About the Temporary Bridges Project

Part 6: Construction Workers & Detour Signs

Today, as part of our ongoing review of the follow-up survey I conducted in late September on this summer’s temporary bridges construction project, we’ll take a look at how you answered a final set of questions regarding your thoughts on the construction works and flaggers working downtown and the detour signs posted in and around the construction zone.

As you can see, 75% of those responding to this question rated the construction workers and flaggers as either very or somewhat helpful and cordial. This aligns with the positive comments I heard expressed downtown throughout the construction. I know from personal experience that the Kubricky team enjoyed working in Middlebury and really appreciated the supportive atmosphere downtown.

I would place myself in the “OK, but could have been better” category. This was a learning experience and there are several things we will do differently next construction season.

I asked folks to comment on the detour signs in a follow-up question: “If you thought the detour signs could be improved, what would you suggest?” I’ve shared below some representative responses from the 75 that we received. About half of the comments concerned the confusing “Printer’s Alley Detour” signs that should have read “Marble Works Detour,” so we’ll lead with that.

"My only real remark here is that signs directing folks to the Marble Works were labeled as "Printers Alley detour" (or something along those lines). I think even many long-time residents don't know the name of that little alley and that may have caused some confusion. "Detour to the Marble Works" would have been less confusing in my opinion."

"The ones for Printers Alley were really confusing. Considering the traffic involved, I think the signs should have been posted earlier as a warning, larger, and more frequently. I saw some very confused drivers trying to get to Route 30."

"Some placements were odd. Also, a heads up that Main Street or Merchants Row [would be closing] the week before using that electronic sign would have been helpful."

"When both bridges were closed, public vehicles should not have been allowed past the Frog Hollow/ Bakery Lane area."

"More/better information on sidewalk access/detours."

"I walk all the time thru Middlebury with my dog. I saw a lot of confused walkers. The signage could be bigger, better placed, and increased in number."

"Pedestrian access was particularly problematic with folks trying to access Main Street from Printers Alley and unable to do so. There were many times when elderly people had crossed the pedestrian bridge to come to the Marble Works side and try to access Main Street, but had to turn around and go back because there was no sign indicating the lack of access to Main Street. More signage for pedestrians would have useful."

"If you didn't read updates, you wouldn't understand the closings until [you were] there that day with some frustration."

"They [detour signs] seemed more focused on saying the businesses were open than giving detour information."

"For people who don't know the names of streets, a simple graphic map to show which way to go to access certain areas or parking might be useful."

"Does not matter how good they are people just do not pay attention."

"Too many signs already; visual pollution."

"The Merchants Row sidewalk sign at the top of the hill wasn't placed well. People would walk all the way down, realize they couldn't get across, and then have to walk all the way back up and around the Green."

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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