Wednesday night, on the eve of the main phase of Middlebury’s Downtown Rail & Bridge Project, VTrans, VHB and Kubricky held the latest in a series of public meetings that have marked the history of this project.
Some 50-plus members of the community attended Wednesday's virtual Zoom webinar while many others watched MCTV’s live stream of the event. VTrans and Kubricky reviewed the sequence, timeline and impacts of this summer’s construction and took questions from those attending.
Also of interest was a brief presentation by VHB’s historic preservationist and the Vermont State Historic Preservation Officer regarding plans to update the Middlebury Village Historic District’s listing with the National Register of Historic Places for the first time since 1980. This work is one of the benefits to Middlebury of this federal project.
If you missed the presentation or would like a refresher on the some of the key dates and activities, you can watch it on MCTV’s YouTube channel here.
Your Weekly Construction Update
This week ECI completed its work upgrading the Town’s stormwater drainage system on Middle Seymour Street, paving the way for construction of Middlebury’s Amtrak rail platform later this year.
Kubricky completed work on the water line that will service the fire hydrant in Triangle Park when the park is restored. That required shutting down the southbound lane of Main Street for two days so thank you for your patience if you were waiting in traffic this week.
And Thursday saw the return of those large blasting mats that we got to know well in 2018. More on that below.
What's Happening Week 1
Monday morning at 6 AM Kubricky will roll out the 10-week detour signs and by 7 AM Main Street will be closed to thru traffic for the next 10 weeks.
As a reminder, Main Street will be closed on the south end at Bakery Lane and Mill Street and on the north end at North Pleasant Street. Merchants Row will now be closed entirely.
At the same time, Printer’s Alley will be closed to pedestrians.
Over the weekend the Neighbors Together team and I will be putting up our own sidewalk and road signs that will help you navigate around town. The first two or three days are bound to be a little hectic so please do allow a little extra time to get where you’re going as we all adjust to the detour.
We’ve covered getting around town by foot and by car, truck or bicycle extensively during the week, but do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns or suggestions.
Kubricky will be taking the Main Street Bridge and our much-used wooden footbridge down early in the week. Like its Merchants Row counterpart, the bridge will be dismantled and shipped back to its yard for storage.
Kubricky will also begin the process of installing the remaining segments of the stormwater drainage system, including the 42-inch-diameter pipe in the photo below, which will sit well below the finished grade of the rail corridor and connect two large manhole structures, one of whose sections are shown in the photo above.
Maine Drilling & Blasting is back in town to remove ledge in the area around Main Street Bridge. There will be a small series of blasts on either side of the bridge during the week, the first taking place early Tuesday morning. As throughout 2018 and last Fall, there will be a clear warning before blasting and we will clear a perimeter around the area for everyone’s safety. Blasting will only take place during the day.
The last Vermont Rail train for 10 weeks will pass through Middlebury early Monday morning and then ECI will begin pulling the track out so that excavation of the rail corridor can begin. That excavation is the first major order of business and will take place over approximately the first week to 10 days of the closure.
Traffic engineers will be on site Monday and Tuesday to monitor traffic flow and then adjust signals and signage as needed the week of July 20.
The Great Middlebury Pig Out
Let’s close out with something fun and unrelated to construction from our friends at Neighbors Together and the Better Middlebury Partnership, who encourage you to participate in the Great Middlebury Pig Out!
Taking place between Friday, July 10, and Sunday, July 19, this is a great opportunity to support our local Middlebury restaurants by dining in or getting take-out. Send your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll be entered to win $500 in Middlebury Money.
Supporting our local restaurants and having a chance to win big money—it's a win-win. Receipts must be dated between July 10 and 19 to be eligible. One receipt is one entry; no limit on the number of times you can enter. All locally owned Middlebury restaurants are included. More details can be found at experiencemiddlebury.com.
That’s all for today. See you downtown.
Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.