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2020 Update #6

Winter Challenges

The Highlights

  • Winter Weather

  • Deteriorating Pavement on Main Street Bridge

The first week of February was a short week for downtown construction as the arrival of a winter storm on Thursday limited the work week to three days. Let’s review what got accomplished in those three days and what next week looks like.

Your Weekly Construction Update

As those who regularly travel between Middlebury and Cornwall know, Kubricky continues to prepare Fifield Farm for this summer’s construction.

You probably recall from previous updates that the field on the south side of Route 30 (on the left as you leave Middlebury; see photo below, taken Thursday afternoon) will become the staging area for some 400 pieces of precast concrete that will form the new downtown tunnel and rail abutments. On the north side, where prep work has now also begun, Kubricky will temporarily store soil excavated from the rail corridor.

At the suggestion of one of our local citizens, the Town has asked VTrans to temporarily reduce the speed limit between the college’s Ralph Myhre Golf Course and the Middlebury-Cornwall town line to improve the safety of flaggers, construction vehicles, and motorists. That request is making its way through the VTrans approval process.

At the north end of the project in the Marble Works, ECI has made significant progress installing the steel sheet piles that can clearly be seen marking either side of the rail line from Seymour Street and the Main Street footbridge. The work was suspended on Thursday and Friday because of the weather and will resume early next week.

ECI expects to complete this part of the project in about two weeks if the weather cooperates. The photo below shows the work underway just north of Otter Creek Yoga on Wednesday’s blue-sky day.

Between the two downtown bridges, Kubricky continues to excavate and install timber lagging at the site of the new manhole structure below St. Stephen’s. This work will continue next week as Kubricky steadily makes its way to 20 feet below the current track surface.

Bouncing Over the Main Street Bridge

A reader has asked about the deteriorating condition of the pavement on the temporary Main Street Bridge. Our up-and-down winter weather and heavy truck traffic have taken their toll on the patch work done earlier this Fall.

With the hot asphalt plants in Vermont closed until April, there aren’t a lot of good options for repairing the pavement before the Main Street Bridge is removed on May 27. But VTrans is monitoring the bridge condition and will temporarily fix the potholes with “cold patch” asphalt if needed to get this bridge across the finish line. Thanks in the meantime for your patience with this.

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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