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2019 Update #35

Weather Cools, Work Heats Up, Miles Smiles?

When you start looking for the scraper and thinking about the winter tire change-over, it’s a sure sign that Fall has arrived. That was the case this week as overnight temps dipped into the 30s. And that means that the race is on to complete this year’s construction before Winter follows.

Your Weekly Construction Update

The drilling of minipiles—those central structural elements for stabilizing the slope on either side of the rail corridor—continues to mark progress toward this year’s construction goals.

This week Maine Drilling & Blasting completed installing 60 minipiles north of the Main Street Bridge. That crew will now join a second Maine D&B drilling crew to install minipiles on either side of the rail line between the two bridges.

The photograph below illustrates all the elements of a support of excavation (SOE) system that we've been talking about these past several weeks. Steel supports have been welded onto the minipiles and timber lagging set in place between those steel supports. Walers have been installed to support steel tiebacks that have been drilled into place to further stabilize the slope behind the lagging. This SOE now sits about 20 feet below Triangle Park.

On the south end of the project, Kubricky continued installing pipes and manholes for the new town sewer line, which now extends some 1,000 feet from the pump station behind the Battell Block to south of Cross Street Bridge. That work will continue next week while Kubricky tests sections of the line in preparation for it going live and completes the final 300 feet of the new sewer line. The pipe has been installed at a depth of up to 14 feet.

In work originally scheduled for this week, a second Kubricky crew will now begin next week installing a new stormwater drainage system that will parallel the new sewer line behind South Pleasant Street. That crew will work from south of Cross Street Bridge north during the course of the week.

Now that Bourdon Insurance has relocated to the Richards Group at 94 Court Street and the Bourdon building sits empty, Kubricky is working on bracing the section of the building that juts out over the rail abutment in preparation for removing the rubble wall beneath it so that minipiles can be installed in that section of the rail corridor. As you may recall was the case with last year’s drainage system outfall above Otter Creek, shotcrete and soil nails will be used to stabilize the slope.

Next week Kubricky will also be installing more tiebacks to stabilize the rail abutment slope behind Town Hall Theater and Smith Housing.

Next weekend—that’s October 12-13—Vermont Rail will again cease operations from early Friday morning through early Monday morning so that Maine D&B can continue blasting bedrock in preparation for excavating the rail corridor next summer. That work will take place in a 100-foot section of the railbed underneath and just north of the Main Street Bridge.

As was the case last month, Maine D&B expects to conduct three blasts each on Saturday and Sunday, at approximately 6:00 am, Noon, and 6:00 pm. There may also be a blast late Friday afternoon. Motorists and pedestrians in the area will be asked to stay in place for about 10 minutes prior to each blast.

That same weekend, with the train gone and the tracks removed, ECI and Kubricky will lower town water, sewer, and stormwater drainage lines that cross underneath the rail corridor in three locations: Cross Street Bridge, behind the Middlebury Fire Department Seymour Street station, and adjacent to County Tire.

Miles Smiles

Do you have one of those touchstone records in your life that you return to again and again for enjoyment and inspiration?

Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way is one of those albums for me. If, like me, you’re a fan of Miles Davis and jazz in general, read on.

The MNFF Selects screening series begins its season on Thursday, October 17, with the engaging documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, directed by Stanley Nelson. The film will screen at 7:00 pm at Town Hall Theater and tickets are $15 at the door.

This portrait of a mercurial and hugely influential artist is billed as “exhilarating and utterly honest. Every period of Miles’ singular career is admirably assessed with an informed passion for the groundbreaking music he created and the remarkable life he led.”

MNFF Selects continues monthly all the way through May at Town Hall Theater and will bring the community a treasure trove of entertaining biographical films featuring fascinating people like David Crosby (a must-see for Byrds lovers), Aretha Franklin, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Harriet Tubman, Toni Morrison, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Molly Ivins.

Watch the trailers and learn more about the films here.

Notes from Around Town

Amy Hastings reminds us that our Neighbors Together flowers decorating downtown will soon give way to the inevitable onset of autumn chill and so it's a good time once again to thank all the wonderful volunteers who've helped keep our flower planters fed, watered, and pruned all summer long.

Those volunteers total some 26 people from the Middlebury Congregational Church, Middlebury United Methodist Church, Havurah, Middlebury Friends, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Memorial Baptist Church, and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church as well as Courtney DeBisschop of IPJ. Amy would also like to acknowledge all of our neighbors in the community who've gone out of their way to say thank you while the volunteer crew has been on watering duty. Happy Fall from Neighbors Together!

Finally, Porter Medical Center’s contribution to our Summer and Fall walking challenge continues next Tuesday, October 8, at Mary Hogan with a brief talk by Dr. Kate Wagner of Porter Women’s Health Center on the topic, “Working Fitness Into a Busy Day.” Things get underway a little earlier than past sessions, at 4:45 PM.

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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