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2020 Update #54

Taking Advantage of Warmer Weather

The Highlights

  • More sidewalk work on Main Street and Merchants Row

  • Alternating lane traffic on Seymour Street finishes up on Friday

  • Amtrak Rail Platform project update

It’s probably safe to say that our attention this week was focused on matters other than the ongoing construction of our downtown sidewalks.

Still, as Monday and Tuesday’s cold winds and early-season snow gave way to a string of 60 degree days, the downtown construction team took advantage of the unexpected warm weather, pressing ahead with work we need to accomplish before construction is shut down for the winter later in the year.

Much of this work was originally scheduled to take place earlier this Fall so we’re now seeing the impact of the seven-week shutdown of construction statewide back in March and April. That said, all is still on schedule to wrap up next Summer as planned.

So let’s review what work took place this week and what lies ahead as we turn the corner into the future.

Your Weekly Construction Update

Sidewalk work again took center stage this week.

As we discussed in our last update, Waters is filling the expansion joints that separate each sidewalk panel with a polyurethane sealant and saw-cutting “control joints” every few feet to control cracking of the large sidewalk panels.

That work began Wednesday morning up near the Post Office and continued down Main Street before switching over to Merchants Row on Thursday.

In the photo below, the Waters crew is cutting control joints in front of Vermont Book Shop and IPJ Real Estate on Main Street. The saw-cutting is done using either a handheld skill saw or a walk-behind saw with a diamond blade set at a depth of 1-1/4 inches, or about one-third of the sidewalk depth of 5 inches.

Right behind the saw-cutting, Kubricky pressure-washed the sidewalks. Our second photo below shows the control joints on a newly pressure-washed section of sidewalk between the Post Office and Printer’s Alley.

This phase of sidewalk construction will wrap up on Friday. Next week Kubricky will apply the silane coating to the new downtown sidewalks that we talked about last week. Silane is a silicone-based sealer whose purpose is to protect concrete from water penetration and damage from salt.

Steel Sheets Update

Up on the north end of the project, ECI continues making steady progress pulling those steel sheets that stabilized the rail slopes north of Main Street during this summer’s construction.

As planned, this week ECI relocated its crane from the Marble Works over to Seymour Street to pull the remaining sheets. Alternating lane traffic will continue on Seymour Street through Friday as the crane takes up space in the southbound lane.

The ECI crew will be largely offsite the next two weeks. Any remaining sheets on the north end will get pulled early Thanksgiving week.

In other north end news, a Kubricky crew continued tying rebar along the northwest u-wall in preparation for forming up and pouring more cap walls. That concrete work will take place next year. You can see the line of tied rebar—and the ECI crane pulling sheets up near the Depot—in our next photo below.

Finally, on the south end of the project, as shown in our final photo of the week, Kubricky began constructing the embankment that will protect the area between the Battell building and Cross Street Bridge from stream bank erosion by placing along the river’s edge what are known as Type 3 stones—so called because they measure at a minimum three feet wide.

Rail Platform Update

Last week a reader emailed asking for an update on the Amtrak Rail Platform project. While this construction project is separate from the Rail and Bridge project—it’s being managed by the VTrans Rail Section and coordinated in town by Middlebury’s Department of Public Works and Planning & Zoning Office—clearly the two projects are closely connected.

The Middlebury Amtrak Rail Platform project is being implemented jointly by VTrans (construction of the platform, canopy, and lighting) and the Town of Middlebury (construction of parking, access, and amenities). The project is in the final stages of design and review and should be ready to bid in early December for construction in Spring 2021. Additional details and final plans will be posted on the Town’s website as they become available. You can access that info when it’s available here.

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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