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2020 Update #30

Cranes for Setting Precast To Start Arriving in Town Next Week

The Highlights

  • 200-ton cranes to be assembled downtown in preparation for tunnel construction

  • Middle Seymour entrance to the Marble Works reduced to one lane next two weeks

  • Upcoming live updates on WVTK

If you’re a fan of heavy machinery—or just intrigued by the thought of what a 300-ton crane sitting in the center of downtown would look like—the next two weeks may be your cup of tea.

With the construction of the new downtown tunnel now scheduled to get underway on Monday, July 13, Kubricky will begin trucking and assembling two 200-ton cranes and one 300-ton crane downtown. These three cranes—and a fourth that will sit on the Town Hall Theater side of Merchants Row—will be used to set in place the precast tunnel pieces currently being stockpiled south of town.

To give you a sense of scale, the crane out at the Fifield Farm marshaling yard is a 200-ton crane. The 300-ton crane is, well, bigger! We’ll see how much bigger when it arrives in town the week of June 29.

The two 200-ton cranes arrive as an advance guard next week and will be assembled during the week. One will sit toward the bottom of Printer’s Alley near where the Launch Pit was constructed in 2018, the other just north of Cross Street Bridge alongside the temporary access road. The crane located in the Printer’s Alley area will be assembled at night after business hours.

There is a lot of activity to report on as the construction crew gears up for the main event this summer so let’s get right to the weekly update.

Your Weekly Construction Update

The test run of precast from Fifield Farm to the intersection of Main Street and Merchants Row went off without a hitch early Wednesday morning. All was over by 6:45 AM so my apologies to those who arrived afterward only to discover that the show was over. The photo below shows Hulett Trucking starting to back down Main Street from the roundabout.

Speaking of precast, by end of the day Friday, another 60 or so pieces of precast will have been delivered to Fifield, bringing our total at the yard to 304 of 422 pieces. Final deliveries will take place during the week and wrap up on Friday, June 26.

With the tie rod operation on Merchants Row completed, Kubricky removed the fence separating Triangle Park from Merchants Row and backfilled and graded the entire area in preparation for the arrival of the 300-ton crane, which will operate across this stretch.

Between the bridges, Kubricky began installing the 42-inch-diameter drainage pipe that forms a central section of the new stormwater system. Next week the pipe run will be completed and backfilled.

The Maine D&B crew’s work drilling tiebacks in the support of excavation that runs alongside the Battell driveway will wrap up next week. Kubricky continued its tear-down of the rail corridor abutment in that same area, installing support of excavation as they moved north toward Triangle Park.

You may have noticed that summer has arrived in advance of Saturday’s Summer Solstice (“It’s all downhill from here,” says my wife). To keep dust down as much as possible during this hot dry spell, Kubricky has regularly been watering down the temporary access road and rail corridor.

In other news, ECI this week completed driving those steel sheets on the north end of the project. Those will remain in place until the project is near completion and then removed.

If you’re wondering why telephone poles have suddenly appeared along the rail embankment north of Main Street, those will house temporary lighting for overnight work during the shutdown. Middlebury’s Glen Peck Electric will be installing the lights.

You may recall I mentioned last week that Kubricky would soon be removing the above-ground waterline that crosses the rail corridor alongside the Main Street footbridge as well as the stone wall supporting it. That work will likely will take place either late next week or the following week and will require closing Printer’s Alley and the footbridge for a brief period. I’ll let you know when I have more info on that.

And finally, ECI will be upgrading the Town’s stormwater line that runs down Middle Seymour Street (aka the back entrance to the Marble Works) to the intersection with Elm Street. This part of the project will likely extend over two weeks and will require limiting Middle Seymour Street during the day to one lane. Middle Seymour is a narrow, high-volume roadway so please take care driving through the construction zone starting next week.

Live On-Air Updates at WVTK

For the past two years I’ve regularly appeared on Bruce Zeman’s award-winning morning radio show on 92.1 WVTK to provide the community with a live update on the project. If you’re interested in the very latest construction update, I’ll be on air with Bruce at 8:15 AM on the following Fridays this summer: June 26, July 10 and 24, August 7 and 21, September 4 and 18, and October 2, 16, and 30.

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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