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2020 Update #4

Winter Work, Summer Parking

The Highlights

  • Downtown parking during summer construction

  • Preparations underway at Fifield Farm

Last week we talked about The Shuttlebury, a continuous loop shuttle that will connect Marble Works to Main Street during this summer’s construction.

This week I’d like to give you a brief overview of parking in the central downtown area during the 10-week shutdown of Main Street scheduled for May 27 – August 5.

Post Office. We all still need to get to the P.O. Twelve parking spots will remain open in front of the Post Office on both sides of Main Street. Parking will include two handicapped spots, one directly in front of the Post Office and the other next to the crosswalk on the Town Green side of Main Street. You’ll be able to turn right into this parking from Seymour Street or left from the Emma Willard Triangle.

Merchants Row. There will be no parking on Merchants Row. The fenced construction zone will extend from Main Street to just short of the monument. You’ll be able to pull into the top of Merchants Row from Court Square and drive around the monument to a drop-off zone in front of Town Hall Theater. The two parking spots on South Pleasant Street alongside Town Hall Theater will be temporarily converted to handicapped spots to replace those lost on Merchants Row.

Municipal Lot. The 60-plus parking spaces in the lower municipal lot (behind the Town Offices) will be temporarily converted from all-day to 3-hour parking to provide a go-to for those who need close access to downtown. The 12 parking spaces directly behind Ilsley Library in the upper municipal lot will be signed for seniors and families with small children, similar to the parking spaces a the side of the Coop.

Franklin Street. Franklin is the one-block street that connects Academy Street to Storrs Avenue just east of Twilight Hall and College Street. Franklin is being temporarily converted into a one-way roadway running uphill toward the College in order to add 20 parking spaces on the park side of the street. No time limit on these spaces, which are a 5-minute walk from downtown.

And, of course, there’s parking in the Mill Street lot, on Seymour and South Pleasant streets, the Academy Street lot, etc.

I’ve been working with Neighbors Together and VTrans and VHB on a comprehensive parking plan that we’ll release in the near future but I thought you might want to know about some of these changes now.

Your Weekly Construction Update

Temperatures warmed a bit this week, enabling ECI to resume installing sheet piles on either side of the rail line in the Marble Works. During its downtime last week, ECI brought in a smaller vibratory hammer to reduce the impact of driving sheets on neighboring businesses and residences.

Kubricky again spent the week excavating and installing timber lagging at one of two locations between the bridges that will house new manhole structures that are part of the new downtown drainage system.

The photograph below shows the timber lagging in place at a depth of about 7 feet. Kubricky will eventually excavate down to a depth of some 20 feet below the current track surface. This work will continue for several more weeks.

If you drive Route 30 south of town you may have noticed construction signs up on either side of the road just south of the College at Fifield Farm. As I’ve mentioned, fields on both sides of the road will act as staging areas for the precast concrete for the downtown tunnel and for excavated soil. Kubricky is laying down fabric and gravel to prepare these sites.

Bundle Up February

Our friends at Bundle have released their February line-up of pop-up events.

Next month 51 Main Street will host a workshop series that encourages women to reflect on their experiences in writing, Monday Wellness sessions designed to start your week off right with a dose of inner peace, and a personal recollection of skiing Vermont’s 330-mile Catamount Trail from author Sam Brakeley based on his book, “Skiing with Henry Knox.” If these events pique your curiosity—or if you’re wondering, “Who is Henry Knox?”—click 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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