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2018 Update #47

Into the Great Wide Open

After a journey of 30 days and some 140 feet, the Tunnel Boring Machine emerged into daylight in Riverfront Park at mid-day Thursday, completing the first of three planned tunnels that will comprise the new drainage system for central downtown.

The TBM averaged between 1 and 2 feet an hour cutting through solid rock (the case for most of the journey), somewhat less when making its way through a seam that mixed dirt and rock.

It will now be transported back to ECI’s shop for a thorough cleaning and check-up before being brought back to the Launch Pit to begin the second tunnel, this one an uphill run to Receiving Pit 2 behind Triangle Park. ECI will spend next week reconfiguring the Launch Pit for this second run.

Also next week work will get underway at the outlet of the completed tunnel as ECI and Kubricky construct a concrete headwall to support the stormwater pipe and grout in the space between the steel casing and the tunnel wall, an area known in construction as the “annular space.”

In Triangle Park, Kubricky continued excavating Receiving Pit 2, the southern arm of the new drainage system, down to its final depth of about 24 feet below track level. There is still a considerable amount of bedrock to be removed using the hoe ram and that will continue into next week. Thank you for your patience, I know how intrusive that hammering can become.

No activity is expected to take place at Receiving Pit 3, the northern arm of the new drainage system, located alongside the rail line in the Marble Works, until October.

Kubricky completed transporting contaminated soil excavated from the rail corridor during the construction of the temporary access road to a processing facility in Fort Edward, New York. As a reminder, all contaminated soils are being handled in accordance with a Corrective Action Plan developed in collaboration with and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Water Brigade Update

Pat Colander and husband Dave, representing the Baptist Memorial Church, watered our downtown planters and flower boxes by themselves during the past three weeks. That’s a serious undertaking as summer weather lingered well into September. Thank you, Pat and Dave!

The Future of Triangle Park and Printer’s Alley

More than 30 citizens, many representing our local organizations, gathered at the Town Offices Wednesday night to review preliminary designs for rebuilding and landscaping Triangle Park and Printer’s Alley.

In a spirited discussion, the merits of different approaches to these downtown public spaces was debated. Should Triangle Park be restored as a traditional park-like space? Should it become more of an open plaza designed to drive downtown business with a wide variety of events, perhaps including our Farmer’s Market?

The preliminary plans will be revised based on this important public input and at that time they will get a wider public airing.

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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