2020 Update #24

Middlebury Project Gets Full Go-Ahead

Last week came to a close with some good news.

Friday afternoon VTrans informed Town leadership and Kubricky that restrictions on the number of workers allowed on site had been eased to the point where Kubricky can now field a full crew.

Following Saturday’s planned drilling of minipiles in the northbound lane of Main Street (see photo below), Monday saw the construction crew expand from last week’s 10 to more than two dozen workers, including three state inspectors.

Work can now resume on all aspects of the project that need to move forward before this summer’s closure of the rail corridor and the shutting down of Main Street and Merchants Row to motorists.

So as of today Fort Miller is again trucking precast concrete from its Schuylerville NY plant to the Fifield Farm north marshaling yard and Kubricky is excavating and lagging the rail slopes alongside the Battell driveway and between the downtown bridges.

To add to the bustle downtown, Carrara is in town Monday to grout the 13 rail corridor minipiles and 10 Merchants Row minipiles installed last week. And a vacuum truck and crew are stationed on the sidewalk in front of the Duclos Building to remove portions of the sidewalk and identify all underground utilities before minipile drilling begins between the Duclos Building and the southbound lane of Main Street tomorrow.

Completing the picture, we can expect to see ECI back at work soon to complete driving those sheet piles at the north end of the project.

In other words, a lot is now happening at once.

So what does this mean for the schedule for the 10-week shutdown? VTrans and Kubricky expect to be able to finalize those dates within the next two weeks and I’ll report on that info as soon as I have it in hand.

You might also ask what this development means for the health and safety of the community and the construction crew.

The evolving guidelines developed by Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development for the construction industry no longer require out-of-state crew to be tested prior to working in Vermont. As part of its due diligence, however, Kubricky will have much of its crew tested at the Middlebury pop-up testing site this week. Crew reporting to work each morning must pass a health inspection including temperature check. A dedicated Covid-19 health officer has been on site since last Monday monitoring compliance with the state's health and safety protocols.

There is no longer a requirement for out-of-state workers to lodge in Vermont and so, as I mentioned last week, the New York crew will commute to the job site from their homes, primarily in Essex County. Several of the crew members live in Vermont.

I’ll bring you fully up to date on this week’s developments in my end-of-the-week update.

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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