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2019 Update #38

Printer’s Alley Closing Next Week, A Spooky Sunday

Regular readers of our weekly construction update will be familiar by now with the new sewer line that Kubricky has been constructing alongside the train tracks behind South Pleasant Street and Water Street for the past several weeks.

That segment of the line—running from a sewer manhole at the Otter Creek trestle bridge near Water Street to the town’s pump station at the foot of the Battell Block parking lot—is now complete and in operation.

Next week, as I discussed in last week’s update, work on this part of the project will shift into central downtown, extending the new sewer line up the Battell driveway; underneath Merchants Row, Triangle Park, and Main Street; and then down Printer’s Alley to a sewer manhole that sits in the roadway leading to the National Bank’s parking lot.

This phase of construction will start on Monday in Printer’s Alley—Kubricky will work “backwards” to the Battell building—and will temporarily impact pedestrians and motorists navigating downtown during the week. Let’s go over the details.

Closing Printer’s Alley: The Details

Work on the downtown section of the new sewer line will begin on Monday as two Kubricky crews converge on Printer’s Alley to install a new sewer manhole on Main Street and to begin laying sewer pipe from the bottom of Printer’s Alley. The new sewer manhole will be located directly in front of the National Bank’s Duclos Building (that’s the red brick building next to Printer’s Alley) and inside the guardrail on the steep slope leading down to the sidewalk.

In order to get this work done safely and as quickly as possible, Kubricky will need to close both Printer’s Alley and the Main Street sidewalk between the Duclos Building and the Post Office, including the footbridge that spans the rail line on Main Street.

Pedestrians walking between the National Bank and the Post Office will be asked to follow a marked detour via Merchants Row and the Town Green. Those walking between Main Street and the Marble Works will need either to cross the pedestrian bridge over Otter Creek near Star Mill or to use Seymour Street. Both detours will add a few minutes to your travel time so please leave time in your schedule when running errands or going to and from work.

(You may recall that these same detour routes were put in place for three weeks in Summer 2017 when Kubricky and Champlain Construction replaced the water line that runs alongside the Main Street footbridge.)

National Bank customers will be asked to enter the bank through the front door where the bank’s ATM is located rather than through the Duclos Building. Access to the bank's parking lot will remain open except for short periods.

Kubricky will also need to close the southbound lane of Main Street as it crosses the Main Street Bridge and passes by the National Bank, leaving just one lane for travel. Flaggers will manage the back and forth of getting traffic through the one lane. I don’t believe parking in front of the Post Office and St. Stephen’s will be affected.

These temporary restrictions on pedestrians and motorists will last all week, including on Halloween for any downtown trick-or-treaters. Portable message boards on the western, southern, and northern approaches to town will announce the one-lane travel on Main Street. Thank you in advance for your patience and let me know if there are things we can do to improve your getting around town next week.

Sewer line work will continue on Main Street and Merchants Row the week of November 4 and I’ll have those details for you next week.

Your Weekly Construction Update

Week 12 found Maine Drilling & Blasting drilling minipiles in and around the Merchants Row Bridge, working with Nop’s Metals and Carrara to grout the minipiles previously installed alongside the Battell Block driveway, and installing tiebacks—one of the elements of the support of excavation systems we’ve been profiling—in Triangle Park.

To accomplish that work, Merchants Row was closed at times to thru traffic from Wednesday through the end of the week.

Minipile drilling continues next week in the Merchants Row Bridge area.

The subcontractor Knowles was back in town on Wednesday to continue its work stabilizing the steep slopes behind Grace Baptist Church and the Bourdon building and between St. Stephen’s and the rail line, using shotcrete and soil nails.

Kubricky continued installing the new town stormwater drainage line that will parallel the new sewer line behind South Pleasant Street, working their way north from Cross Street Bridge toward the Battell Block.

Along the temporary access road, Kubricky will begin excavating around minipiles in order to begin installing the timber lagging that provides stability to the adjoining slopes.

A Spooktacular Event

Here’s an event you and the kids/grand kids have been waiting for: the 12th Annual Middlebury Spooktacular takes place on the Town Green this Sunday, October 27.

Middlebury’s Halloween extravaganza gets underway at 1:00 pm with games, music, dancing, and crafts. There’ll be popcorn, bubble-blowing, face painting, cider and donuts for purchase from our good friends at Happy Valley Orchard—and plenty of candy!

At 2:30, the main event gets underway with a trick-or-treating parade down Main Street led by the legendary and much-beloved Spooktacular Witch.

Accompanied by parents and Spooktacular volunteers, trick-or-treaters will cross over to the Post Office and continue along Main Street to Cannon Park, where the parade will cross Main Street once again and head back to the Town Green. No construction activity will disrupt this parade!

Spooktacular is hosted by the Better Middlebury Partnership and made possible with generous support from Shaw’s Supermarket. The event is free and open to everyone and . . . creative adult costumes are encouraged!

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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