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2019 Update #18

Downtown Color, Banoffi & The Arts

Suddenly Memorial Day is just around the corner and Spring is in full bloom.

The Neighbors Together team is helping us celebrate both with the return of outdoor planters to Main Street and Merchants Row just in time for the holiday weekend. You’ll see these colorful displays of flowers on the Main Street footbridge, in front of the Merchants Row bridge, and elsewhere around the center of town.

A special thank you to Agway for its support and especially to Sharon Lefebvre for her expert help planting the window boxes and planters that are enlivening our downtown with Spring color.

Checking Out Bundle

Have you been into the new Bundle pop-up storefront space on Main Street?

Wednesday morning I stopped in, drawn by the large Check This Out sign sitting in the doorway of the former Clay’s space at 60 Main Street. Inside I found a colorful, eye-catching display of artwork from students at MUMS, MUHS, and the Hannaford Career Center.

It’s all part of Addison County School District’s annual Spring into the Arts event. Bundle @ 60 Main’s effervescent manager Kelly Hickey is encouraging everyone to stop by before or after Monday’s Memorial Day parade to check out the work of our young artists.

Special incentive: homemade “pop-tARTS” for sale from Banoffi & Such, Molly Francis’s local custom baked goods company. You may remember that, from 2003-2017, Molly and her husband Dominic owned the Shoreham Inn, home of the banoffi pie, that banana and toffee pie that found many fans. That’s another good reason for stopping in to Bundle on Memorial Day. It’ll be open from 8 AM – Noon that day.

You can check out Bundle’s upcoming schedule here and learn more about Banoffi & Such here. Bundle is an initiative of Neighbors Together and the Better Middlebury Partnership and is funded by the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

But There’s Still Standing Water

Earlier this week a reader got in touch wondering why there’s still standing water on the rail line as you look south along the tracks from the footbridge on Main Street. After all, we did just spend the better part of a year constructing a new drainage system for the rail corridor and adjoining areas in central downtown.

The short answer is it’s not operational yet.

The new drainage system—which you may remember consists of the Launch Pit in Printer’s Alley, Receiving Pit 2 to the south behind and below Triangle Park, Receiving Pit 3 to north in the Marble Works, the Outfall in Riverfront Park above Otter Creek, and the drainage tunnels connecting these structures—will connect with additional drainage lines and infrastructure still to be installed in the rail corridor. The entire system will become operational after the rail line is rebuilt and the tunnel constructed in late Summer/early Fall 2020.

We’ll learn more about the timing and operation of the new drainage system when VTrans and Kubricky present the 2019-21 construction plan to the community on Tuesday, June 4 at 7 PM at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society on Charles Avenue in Middlebury.

New Season, Same Team?

Another reader, citing the diligence and professionalism of last year’s construction team, asked if the same companies would be returning to take on this year’s excavation, drilling, and blasting.

Kubricky, ECI, and Maine Drilling & Blasting—the same team that built the new drainage system—will return this summer to install new town water, sewer, and stormwater lines and the minipiles and sheet piling that will support the eastern and western abutments of the rail line as it’s lowered next summer. We’ll learn more about this activity, too, on June 4.

Your Weekly Construction Update

As planned, GMP and Middlebury’s Glen Peck Electric cut over the Post Office and the Seymour Street fire station to the new underground electric service on Tuesday. This followed last week’s cutover to the National Bank of Middlebury and the Gas House in Marble Works.

With that work completed, GMP dismantled the overhead electric lines across Printer’s Alley to the fire station. Still remaining are the telecom lines, which will be removed after those services are connected underground as well. No timing on that yet.

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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