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2018 Update #17

X Marks the Spot

Construction work can be noisy, disruptive, and dusty. But how interesting this week to watch the gradual excavation of that short stretch of Main Street that sits alongside the rail corridor next to the Duclos Building.

Today ECI is expected to complete the work it began a week ago to prepare the area we call Printer’s Alley for construction of the new drainage system that will serve the central downtown.

That work has involved clearing concrete, soil, and stone from the area to get down to bedrock. The photo below shows a vein of marble with a fluorescent orange X marking the center point of the launch pit that will serve as the hub of the new drainage system.

In preparing the site for the next phase, ECI brought in gravel to create a stable spot for a crane to sit (that will arrive later this month) and excavated a pathway down to the rail track to facilitate vehicle access into the construction zone.

As expected, much of this work was noisy as a “hoe ram” hammered away at concrete, stones, and bedrock. Employees and customers at the National Bank of Middlebury, the Post Office, LandWorks, and the chiropractic office of Jes Sturges bore the brunt of the week with patience and good humor.

What’s On Tap the Week of May 7

Early next week our next subcontractor, Maine Drilling & Blasting, will mobilize into Printer’s Alley to begin the process of drilling and blasting a 40-foot-diameter pit that will extend some 38 feet below the surface.

This work will get underway with approximately three weeks of drilling full-depth holes around the entire perimeter of the launch pit. This work will be accomplished using an air drill, a compressor, and a vacuum truck. It’s going to continue to be an active construction site in Printer’s Alley throughout May and into June.

All sidewalks remain open, and no road closures are planned.

And Then There's The Weekend

As construction winds down for the week a jam-packed first weekend in May will get underway. The big Bike and Outdoor Gear Swap and Sale at Cannon Park starts Friday afternoon from 3 – 6 PM and continues Saturday morning from 9 – 12 PM. All proceeds benefit Middlebury Safe Routes. It's Green Up Day on Saturday and Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op has a big festival planned to honor this annual Vermont tradition. Pick up your green up bags at the Town Offices! Finally, the 10th Annual Middlebury Maple Run takes place downtown on Sunday. All the details for that event are here:

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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