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2018 Update #29

Turning the Corner into Summer

Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives next Thursday. Despite my wife’s misgivings about the event (“It’s all downhill from here”), that day is generally regarded as the official start to summer.

That means some of our favorite summer events are just around the corner: Foodaroo, the Peasant Market, Festival on the Green, Midd Summer Music and Movies, the Lions Club Auction & BBQ and, later this summer, the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

And next Friday our Middlebury Language School students start to arrive.

Next week also marks the 12th week of construction downtown. How are we doing on the communication front? Do you have suggestions for improvement? Drop me a line and let me know.

Today we’ll wrap up the week and look ahead to next by construction area.

Printer’s Alley

Maine Drilling & Blasting has scheduled a blast early Friday afternoon and then again next Monday and Tuesday. This second round of blasting will take our launch pit down to about 16 feet on the way to its eventual depth of 38 feet.

The photo below shows Maine D&B drilling the “charge holes” in preparation for Friday’s blast.

A few people have asked me for a blasting schedule. While the process is unfolding in accordance with a detailed blasting plan, adjustments are made in the field based on several factors and so it’s really not possible to forecast beyond a week out, and even that can change (if a thunderstorm is forecast, for example). We’ll do our best to keep you fully informed and up to date but let me know if you have specific questions or concerns.

Mid next week ECI will excavate the fractured rock from the second round of blasting, using the crane sitting alongside the rail line.

By late next week, we will likely be ready to begin the third round of blasting.

Riverfront Park

As planned, subcontractor Hayward/Baker, out of Hanover, Maryland, conducted a site visit this week in preparation for beginning work next week on stabilizing the slope that extends from behind the National Bank down toward Otter Creek. Kubricky will continue using stone fill to build a stable platform from which Hayward Baker can do its work.

Riverfront Park and the pedestrian bridge across Otter Creek remain open to all. Come on down and enjoy your park!

Triangle Park

I hate to remind everyone, but the day is coming when we will lose those five spots on Main Street that sit alongside Triangle Park. I’m told that could happen as soon as the week of June 25 as construction gets underway at the corner of Main Street and Merchants Row. I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

I do want to report that I find it’s rare that there aren’t at least a few open parking spots downtown in the upper stretch of Merchants Row.

Water Street

Work constructing the temporary access road from Water Street to the Battell parking lot remains on hold.

Speaking of water, I want to end by giving a shout-out to the volunteers who are watering the planters downtown, no easy job with the lack of recent rain. From May 21 through June 8, the water brigade included Nancy Malcolm, Ann LaFiandra, Beth Stanway, Marge Drexler, Sandy Ketcham, and Bill Pierce, all from St. Stephen’s. Thanks for your work!

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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