2020 Update #22

Work To Resume on Monday

It’s been a busy week following VTrans getting the go-ahead to resume work on Middlebury’s downtown construction project.

Much of the focus this week has been on working out the logistics of restarting construction in accordance with our new realities.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one of the conditions of returning to work is that all out-of-state crew are tested for the virus before coming to Middlebury and are then required to stay in Middlebury for a period of 12 days so that they are not traveling back and forth into Vermont.

Kubricky and VTrans are coordinating on the how and when of testing Kubricky’s New York-based construction crew as they prepare to return to Middlebury. The crew will be staying at the locally owned Inn on the Green and Swift House Inn.

I do want to point out that most of the construction workers—many of whom have been working in Middlebury for the past four years—live right across Lake Champlain in Essex County NY. Every day already, dozens of Essex County residents commute to Middlebury to work at Porter Medical Center, Middlebury College, and other local businesses and organizations.

Your Weekly Construction Update

So what will we see next week?

Our friends from Maine Drilling & Blasting will mobilize back into town to finish drilling minipiles in the rail corridor, a task that was suspended along with the rest of the project on March 25.

Once that’s done, the Maine crew will begin installing minipiles in the lower section of Merchants Row to support the rail corridor excavation that will take place later this summer.

Maine will install 10 minipiles in an area spanning from the curb in front of the former coffee shop to the middle of the road. To accomplish this work, Merchants Row will be closed to thru traffic during the day for approximately three days starting late next week.

The sidewalk in front of the Battell Block and the walkway over the Merchants Row Bridge will remain open except briefly for installation of the one curbside minipile. Parking in front of the Battell Block will likely not be available during the day.

Merchants Row will reopen to traffic and parking will be restored at the end of each work day, approximately 5 PM.

A Kubricky crew will be at the Fifield Farm south marshaling yard to begin receiving precast concrete pieces from Fort Miller’s Schuylerville NY plant. Right now, the project is restricted to 15 out-of-state workers, which limits the amount of work that can be accomplished in the short term, but Kubricky may also restart lagging of the rail abutment alongside the Battell driveway.

Kubricky and Maine have the option of working longer shifts during the day and of working on Saturday.

ECI is expected back later in the week of May 18 to finish driving the sheet piles at the north end of the project. That work is expected to take two weeks to complete.

We’ll have a better sense of this summer’s schedule, including the closure of Main Street, once Kubricky is back in the field and has had an opportunity to work under the new protocols in place to protect the health and safety of the community and the construction crew.

And I’ll continue to keep you up to date as soon as I have more information to share.

That’s all for today. See you soon.

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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