2020 Community Update #56

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving


The Highlights

  • Printer’s Alley paved for winter

  • A break for Thanksgiving

  • Santa Claus is coming to town


Last year as we approached Thanksgiving, I took time in my weekly update to remind everyone that “2020 will be the most challenging construction year for our community.”


I think that proved to be true. Those 10 weeks were a challenge. But it was also true that the project took a back seat to the many distressful events roiling our nation. And in ways we couldn’t have foreseen a year ago, the project provided an element of predictability—and, for many, a source of entertainment—during a decidedly unpredictable summer.


Looking back as 2020 winds down, I’m thankful that we were able to complete this summer’s construction safely and on time in the face of the pandemic. And I’m thankful for the way that our community shouldered the challenge of a downtown shutdown with patience and an understanding of the value of this investment in Middlebury’s future.


So with that, let’s turn to our customary review of what we accomplished this week and look ahead to Thanksgiving week.


Your Weekly Construction Update

On a cold and windy Wednesday, a Kubricky paving crew was in town to pave the Printer’s Alley walkway connecting Main Street and the Marble Works for the winter. This temporary asphalt paving will be replaced next year with a new concrete sidewalk and granite curbing.


In the first photo below, the Kubricky crew is raking out and compacting the asphalt on Wednesday morning. The second photo shows the finished walkway on Thursday.

The crew also patched with asphalt a strip excavated earlier this summer by Vermont Gas at the bottom of Printer’s Alley and milled out an area in front of Main Street Stationery to prevent pooling of water on Main Street. You can see that operation in process in our third photo below.

Kubricky also spread hay mulch in the area between the Post Office and the north cap wall as erosion control to stabilize the ground during winter. A Kubricky crew continues to tie rebar on the north end of the project.


Subcontractor Lafayette was expected in town this week to install a final set of new traffic signs and remove signs remaining from this summer’s detour. That will likely now happen next week as Lafayette is currently engaged in installing signs at our border crossings with New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire regarding quarantine restrictions for out-of-state visitors entering Vermont.


South of town you may have noticed activity at the Fifield Farm marshalling yards on Route 30 as Kubricky prepares those areas for winter.


A small Waters crew this week continued working on sidewalks inside Triangle Park.


Next week will be a short week with the Thanksgiving holiday. Construction will wrap up by noon on Wednesday and then resume on Monday, November 30.


In final news—and independent of our downtown construction project—the Agency of Transportation this week released an Invitation for Bids to mill and resurface Route 7 through town as well as sections of Routes 30 and 125 next year. That will be good news to those of us navigating the “dips” in Route 7 and I’ll have more information on timing and impacts in the coming weeks.


Maple Landmark to Welcome Santa to Middlebury

Earlier this week I got a text from Santa letting me know that he’s planning a special visit to Maple Landmark on Saturday, December 5, between 10 AM and 1 PM.


Santa’s been reading Chief Hanley’s emergency bulletins so he knows we have to be extra careful this year and that’s why he’s asked the Rainville family and all the good folks at Maple Landmark to host a drive-through visit with Santa and his elves.


The free drive-through will include a family photo opportunity, a mailbox for leaving wish lists, a goodie bag that includes the annual Santa Scoot car, and of course a (distanced) visit with Santa himself. You can also visit Maple Landmark’s showroom and check out all the great holiday toys and gifts on display.


You know what a popular fellow Santa is this time of year so if you’re planning a visit with the kids or grandkids you might want to go online now to sign-up for a timeslot. All the info you need is here.


That’s all for today. See you downtown. I’ll be back the week of November 30 with your next update.


Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at jgish@townofmiddlebury.org and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.


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