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2020 Update #21

It's Back to Work!

Here’s the news we’ve been waiting for.

Late on Friday we heard from VTrans that Middlebury's rail and bridge project has been given the green light to restart construction this week.

Ours is the only construction project in Vermont with out-of-state workers allowed to resume operations and strict protocols will be in place to manage the health and safety of both the community and the construction crew.

All out-of-state crew, for example, will be tested for the virus before coming to Middlebury and then be required to stay in Middlebury for a 12-day period. An on-site Covid-19 health officer will ensure that all social distancing and other health and safety plan protocols are rigorously enforced.

There are new timelines to set and still many details to work through, but I can tell you that VTrans, the Town, and Kubricky have set a goal of completing the tunnel and reopening our downtown roadways before Labor Day. I'll be reporting on our progress on this in the days and weeks ahead.

Among the first tasks to resume will be completing installation of the steel sheeting at the north end of the project, resuming delivery of the precast concrete from Fort Miller’s plant in NY to the south marshaling yard at Fifield Farm, installing lagging alongside the Battell Block upper driveway, and continuing the drainage system work between the bridges. The temporary access road will likely be reopened to local Battell traffic in the next few days as the upper drive is again closed.

VTrans management has been a strong advocate for restarting our project since the shutdown began. That said, our getting the green light at this time is directly the result of your Town leadership team’s vigorous and persistent advocacy for getting back to work in order to minimize the impact on Middlebury as we recover from the pandemic’s impact.

It may be a little later in the week that we actually see work resume. I'll be back with the latest info in my Friday update to the community.

That’s all for today. See you soon.

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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