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2020 Update #50

The October Forecast

The Highlights

  • Sidewalk and landscaping work continues downtown

  • Seymour Street to close to thru traffic Monday evening for waterline work

  • North end steel sheets to be removed starting next week

As September slipped into October and Middlebury marked a second week of open roads and downtown parking, construction continued its orderly progress toward what will likely be an early winter shutdown: VTrans expects construction to wrap up about Thanksgiving.

That would be in sharp contrast to the past two years, when work continued right through the winter months.

Your Weekly Construction Update

For Waters and Landshapes, working around our mid-week rain, it was another week of pouring sidewalks and landscaping our rebuilt downtown.

Waters has now poured sidewalk on the Town Green side of the upper stretch of Merchants Row and, as shown in the photo below taken Thursday morning, on Main Street between the front entrance to St. Stephen’s and the crosswalk to the Post Office.

As the week draws to a close, Landshapes expects to complete the bump-out on the crosswalk at the midpoint of Merchants Row, shown under construction Thursday afternoon in the next photo below.

In the background of the photo, you can see Carrara working with Waters to pour a section of one of two sidewalks that will connect Merchants Row and Main Street through Triangle Park.

Earlier this week, Landshapes begin placing historic ashlar blocks salvaged from the rail corridor in Triangle Park to create a perimeter for the maple trees (to be planted this Fall) and to provide seating areas in the park.

In the photo below, you can see how the perimeter of Triangle Park is taking shape.

From the granite curbing, a five-foot-wide sidewalk will extend toward the line of lamp posts, ashlar blocks, and maple trees. Next week, assuming our weather holds, Waters should be able to complete the sidewalk in this stretch and along Main Street.

Also on tap for next week, Landshapes expects to begin rebuilding the St. Stephen’s memorial garden situated arounds its honey locust tree and then begin working outward toward the middle of the park. Kubricky will begin installing our historic fountain, which is being repainted and will sit about 30 feet in from the intersection of Main and Merchants, roughly where it was in the past.

Next week Kubricky expects to continue forming and pouring the concrete cap walls that create a finished top to the u-walls on the north end of the project. This week Kubricky poured the first 90 feet of the cap wall on either side of the rail line. The photo below shows the south side poured and covered, the north side awaiting concrete, which took place Thursday afternoon.

The passenger train traveling southbound into the rail tunnel in the photo is a collection of individually owned private rail cars whose members, part of a national organization called AAPRCO, or the American Association of Private Rail Car Owners, tour Vermont each Fall.

Rounding out next week’s forecast, Kubricky expects to begin grading Printer’s Alley in preparation for pouring the sidewalk connecting Main Street to the Marble Works and building the new Lazarus Park.

Seymour Street To Close Monday Evening for Waterline Work

Monday evening at 6 PM ECI will close Seymour Street to thru traffic for about four hours in order to install a new waterline for The Depot, the privately owned building that sits next to County Tire and that was once the town’s rail station.

If you’re interested in the history of Middlebury’s rail station, you might enjoy reading this section of the Sheldon Museum’s digital presentation of Glenn Andres’s A Walking History of Middlebury.

Finally, ECI expects to begin pulling those steel sheets whose fate many have asked about on the north end of the downtown rail corridor. As we saw (and heard) early this year, the sound and vibration produced by the vibrating hammer used to install and remove those sheets are very noticeable so thank you in advance for your patience with this necessary clean-up work on the north end of the project.

Hours of construction continue to be 7 AM – 5 PM Monday-Friday.

In a final note, I’m looking forward to the reopening of a remodeled Vermont Book Shop on Main Street in the near future. Becky and her team have served the community well this year, shifting their business to an online-order/Stone Mill-pickup model to keep all of us avid readers in books.

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

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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