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2020 Update #32

300-Ton Crane Arrives in Triangle Park Monday

The Highlights

  • Intermittent lane closures on Main Street Monday as crane parts are trucked in

  • Main Street closed overnight on Monday to assemble crane boom in roadway

  • Public Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, at 7 PM

The twin 200-ton cranes that we featured in last week’s update arrived on schedule this week and were assembled in Printer’s Alley overnight Monday and just north of Cross Street Bridge during the day Wednesday. They now dominate the aerial landscape downtown.

The 300-ton crane, which will sit in Triangle Park, starts arriving Monday around lunchtime on a small fleet of flatbed trucks. Safely unloading the various crane parts from the trucks will require brief stoppages of traffic on Main Street during the day Monday.

Then on Monday evening, the crane boom will be laid out and assembled on Main Street itself, requiring Main Street to be closed overnight to thru traffic between Bakery Lane/Mill Street and Seymour Street starting about 7 PM. Traffic will be diverted onto the Cross Street Bridge.

Just as a reminder, the job of these cranes—and a fourth to be positioned on the Town Hall Theater side of Merchants Row—is to pick the precast tunnel pieces from the flatbed trucks carrying them in from the Fifield Farm south marshaling yard and set them in place in the downtown rail corridor. This activity will get underway toward the end of the second week of the shutdown of Main Street that starts Monday, July 13.

There’s more precast news and other construction activity to report on so let’s get to the rest of your weekly update.

Your Weekly Construction Update

By the end of the day Friday, right on schedule, all 422 pieces of precast will have been delivered from Fort Miller’s Schuylerville NY plant to Fifield Farm. Next week Kubricky will begin trucking some of that precast into the north end of the project on the Marble Works side of the rail corridor opposite the National Bank’s Seymour Street branch, ready to be set in place later this summer.

Speaking of Seymour Street, the temporary entrance into the Marble Works from Seymour Street seems to be working out well as motorists adapted quickly to the new traffic pattern. That detour will remain in place into next week as ECI replaces Town stormwater infrastructure on Middle Seymour Street in preparation for the Amtrak rail platform.

As long as the detour is in place, Middle Seymour Street will reopen each evening no later than (and probably earlier than) 7 PM and will be open on the weekend.

As you can see from the photo below, a lot of activity is taking place in Triangle Park and between the bridges to prepare for the 10-week closure of Main Street.

Kubricky continued installing the 42-inch-diameter drainage pipe that forms a central section of the new stormwater system and began the process of backfilling the pipe run.

The Maine D&B crew’s work drilling tiebacks was completed this week. We’ll next see Maine D&B when the blasting crew arrives in the first days of the shutdown to remove remaining ledge underneath the Main Street Bridge.

A crane pad consisting of large pieces of lumber (see photo below) has been put in place in the area between the Battell Block and the Main Street Bridge to support the 300-ton crane, which will operate across this stretch.

Installation of the temporary LED lights mounted on telephone poles down the eastern side of the rail corridor continued during the week. These will be used to illuminate the rail corridor during overnight work.

Pedestrian Alert. Between last Fall’s installation of a new Town sewer line in Printer’s Alley and recent excavations by Vermont Gas contractors, Printer’s Alley is looking pretty beat up right now. It will be closed for the duration of the shutdown starting Monday, July 13, but in the meantime please take care walking down this main pathway between Main Street and the Marble Works.

Public Meeting Coming July 8

I’ve been sharing information on the 10-week shutdown of Main Street and the construction that will take us through the rest of 2020 in your weekly updates but it will be helpful to get an overview of week-by-week activities from VTrans and Kubricky.

To that end, we’ve scheduled a special Middlebury Selectboard meeting for Wednesday, July 8, at 7 PM. As with all Selectboard meetings these days, this will be a virtual Zoom meeting but it will also be recorded by MCTV for you to view afterward at your convenience. I’ll share the Zoom log-in info next week.

Finally, I strongly encourage you to read Town Clerk Ann Webster’s important information regarding voting in Vermont’s August 11 primary and the November 3 general election. You can read that here.

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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