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2019 Update #19

The Next Two Years, Got Rhubarb?

We’re only a few days away now from Tuesday’s special meeting of the Middlebury Selectboard, where you’ll have an opportunity to hear the Vermont Agency of Transportation and its partners Kubricky and VHB preview the 2019-20 construction plan for our downtown rail and bridge project.

As I mentioned earlier this month, the event will be held at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society just off Charles Avenue starting at 7 PM. If you’re driving, you can park at MUHS.

The Selectboard has asked VTrans to present its plan to the community for the remaining two years of the downtown construction project and in particular Summer 2020’s 10-week closure of both Main Street and Merchants Row, during which construction will take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At the meeting, lead contractor Kubricky will walk us through the construction activities that are planned, the timeline for these activities, and the impacts of the work on our community.

One of first projects this summer is the relocation of a town sewer line that currently runs on the Otter Creek side of the rail line underneath the temporary access road shown in the photo below. The sewer line will be rebuilt on the other side of the tracks.

This will be another opportunity to get the latest update on the project and ask questions. If you aren’t able to attend, MCTV will be broadcasting the event, John Flowers will be reporting on it for The Addison Independent, and I’ll be summarizing the details in upcoming construction updates.

Time to Get Your Rhubarb On

On a lighter note, have you noticed all the Rhubarb Festival signs around town? What began in 2010 as a whimsical way to celebrate Rev. Johanna Nichols' retirement, raise a little money, and differentiate the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society from the many churches that have strawberry festivals in early summer is now entering its tenth season.

That first year featured 50 pies, which sold out almost immediately. Now the festival features double that number of pies, assorted other rhubarb treats, a tasty lunch, a book sale, an art sale, a plant sale, a “bling” sale, children’s activities, live music, and many other reasons to stop in at “the UU.” And a substantial portion of the earnings goes to our good friends at HOPE.

You can read more about the Rhubarb Festival, which takes place this Saturday, June 1, at CVUUS from 10 AM – 2 PM, here.

Your Weekly Construction Update

There was no construction activity downtown this week. The latest schedule I’ve seen shows construction starting back up the week of July 22. We’ll hear more about that at next week’s public meeting.

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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