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2018 Update #53

Experience Middlebury Anew; Weather Delays Merchants Row/Main Street Work

The Better Middlebury Partnership, our civic organization formed to improve the quality of life in Middlebury, has just released an all-new version of its Experience Middlebury website.

Dedicated to “celebrating the products and experiences that make our community special,” the website is designed to market Middlebury to locals and visitors, providing a convenient go-to for current info on all town events as well as profiles of our local businesses and arts and cultural organizations.

The new site is part of an integrated effort to drive a Shop, Eat, and Drink Local Campaign developed by the Neighbors Together community action group in collaboration with the BMP and the Town of Middlebury during the Rail & Bridge Project.

The web project was funded by a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, supplemented by a matching grant from Middlebury’s Downtown Improvement District Commission.

You can test-drive the all-new Experience Middlebury here. If you’re hungry, go directly here.

(The new website features pages for all local retail, dining, and hospitality establishments. If your business falls under those categories and you do not see it represented on the website or if you would like to change the image or description of your business on the website, please get in touch with the BMP at

Update on Merchants Row & Main Street Road Work

Wednesday’s rain delayed by a day the start of excavating the utility trench in the upper stretch of Merchants Row that I’ve highlighted in the past two updates.

That means that the trench will be backfilled and reopened on Friday afternoon for the weekend but the paving will now take place on Monday and the road will again be temporarily closed to through traffic that morning.

Again, parking in the lower section of Merchants Row (in front of the Battell Block) and access to the Battell Block parking lot will not be affected.

Rescheduling the Merchants Row paving to Monday also means that fixing the humped pavement on the Main Street temporary bridge will now take place on Monday as well. One lane at a time will be closed during the repair work, which will likely get underway mid-day and last through the end of the day.

There should be no impact on parking but those who travel the Main Street corridor downtown, particularly during the evening rush hour, should expect some delay; the Cross Street and Pulp Mill bridges may serve as good alternative routes.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, If you take the Pulp Mill Bridge, please be mindful that there is a clearance limit and a weight limit on our covered bridge.

Your Weekly Construction Update

This week the Tunnel Boring Machine set off on its third and final journey, drilling the tunnel that will connect the Launch Pit to Receiving Pit 3, which sits alongside the rail line in the Marble Works.

Drilling of this 139-foot-long run is expected to be completed at the end of next week. As of Thursday, the TBM sits about 40 feet into the tunnel. The photo below shows the interior of the TBM prior to beginning Drive 3. The Robbins operator spends all day in there!

Also on tap next week: installation of the carrier pipe that will carry stormwater within the drainage system.

As with the overhead utility lines that cross Merchants Row at Bourdon Insurance, the electric and telecom lines in the National Bank of Middlebury’s parking lot and in Printer’s Alley need to be placed underground to free space for cranes to operate safely in 2020.

Kubricky will likely begin excavating this utility trench on Tuesday next week. The Bank’s parking lot will remain open though several parking spots will be taken during the expected four days of construction. I’ll be coordinating this work with the Bank and other Main Street business owners who use the parking lot.

The undergrounding of these utilities is part of the overall plan to significantly improve the entry way to the Marble Works.

Finally, a reader asked what the plan is for the pathway that connects the Marble Works to the pedestrian bridge crossing Otter Creek near Storm Café. That path was widened and covered with stone to facilitate movement of construction equipment down along the Creek to the Outfall. We’re in discussion on how and when to make that pathway walkable in winter and I’ll report that solution out soon.

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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