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2018 Update #10

What April Holds in Store and the Newest Store in Town

The first phase of our 2018 construction season got underway in March with the clearing of trees along the west side of the rail corridor between Cross Street Bridge and the Marble Works.

We’ll see more activity downtown the rest of this month and so I thought I would share what’s in store.

Next week general contractor Kubricky and its subcontractor Geocomp will inspect and document the condition of our historic downtown buildings that are immediately adjacent to Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park.

Geocomp will install vibration-monitoring devices as part of a comprehensive plan previously shared with property owners to ensure the safety and integrity of their buildings during the drilling and blasting that will take place during this year's construction of a new stormwater drainage system along the rail corridor.

2018’s Priority: A New Drainage System for the Rail Corridor

To understand how April will unfold, it’s helpful to visualize the new drainage system that will be built this year. Think of it as a hub with three spokes. The hub sits in Printer’s Alley, the spokes in Triangle Park, along the rail line in the Marble Works, and above the Otter Creek behind Main Street.

The illustration I’ve included here gives you a top-down view of the system. Water flows from receiving shafts 2 and 3 to the launch shaft and from there to the drainage outfall and Otter Creek.

The goal is get all of that standing water that you can now clearly see from the Main Street footbridge off of the rail track. In a future post, we’ll look at the environmental impacts of this system and how it will improve stormwater management.

Back to April’s Game Plan

With that in mind, later this month Kubricky will mobilize in Printer’s Alley to begin excavation of the launch pit that will serve as the center point of the new drainage system. The concrete foundation of the old Lazarus building will be fenced off and a clearly marked pedestrian pathway between Main Street and the Marble Works established.

At about the same time, Kubricky will carefully dismantle our historic fountain in Triangle Park and transport it, together with the park benches, to safe storage at the town’s wastewater treatment facility. I am working with our Department of Public Works on plans to transplant the mature lilac trees that line Triangle Park.

Once Triangle Park has been cleared, Kubricky will fence it off. The Neighbors Together community action group is working on a plan to decorate the chain-link fence with the work of local artists. No surprise that Doug Anderson is heading up that initiative! More to come on that front.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s likely that we will lose the five parking spaces alongside Triangle Park on Main Street for much of the next three years. Kubricky needs that space to safely move its equipment in and out of the Triangle Park area.

Finally, Kubricky will fence off the third spoke of the wheel, which sits roughly at the midpoint between Printer’s Alley and the trash compactor along the rail line in the Marble Works.

That’s a lot of information for one post. We’ll continue to connect the dots in the days ahead.

The Newest Store Downtown

Many of you will have noted with curiosity the renovations taking place in the space on Main Street that sits between Clay’s and Middlebury Mountaineer, the former home of the Wonderland costume and vintage clothing store. On Monday, April 2, Middlebury’s newest business opened its doors at 58 Main Street and I stopped in for a visit.

Alexandria Beauty Lounge is a full-service day spa and salon. Georgia Dune, who operates Dune Holistics in the new space, gave me a tour of the facility.

Alexandria Spooner is the Alexandria in the store’s name. The business is open seven days a week by appointment only but walk-ins are welcome when available. Stylists Samantha Bardeau and Ashley Smith round out the staff.

These folks will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 14, from 9-3.

Finally, you may also have noticed a sign in the window of Clay’s advertising space available. I stopped in the store and learned that Clay’s lease is up at the end of June and they are currently looking for a new space in Middlebury.

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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