2020 Update #52

Working Around the Weather

The Highlights

  • Triangle Park perimeter sidewalk completed

  • Replanting St. Stephen’s Memorial Garden

  • Next steps in Printer’s Alley

This week’s cooler evening temperatures and passing rain showers are a reminder of the challenges of keeping things productive on the construction front as Fall starts to lean toward Winter.

State specifications, for example, spell out strict guidelines regarding the temperature at which concrete being poured for our new sidewalks and cap wall must cure.

If the ambient air temperature is expected to be below freezing at any point or below 40°F for a continuous 8-hour period, for example, the concrete needs to be heated and protected during its curing period. So you’ll notice that some sections of recently poured sidewalk downtown are now covered with insulated black sheeting while they cure.

In Vermont, of course, cold weather work is a way of life and, having worked right through the past two winters, the project team has its sights set on wrapping up this season’s work before shutting down 2020.

So let’s review what work took place this week and what lies ahead.

Your Weekly Construction Update

Starting on the north end of the project, ECI is closing in on the halfway point of pulling the steel sheets that stabilized the rail slopes north of Main Street during this summer’s construction. That work will continue next week as ECI works its way northward toward the Depot.

On Thursday morning, ECI repaved the entrance to the National Bank’s drive-up branch on Seymour Street, temporarily repairing a section that had settled during construction. A permanent fix will take place next Spring.

In Triangle Park, Waters continues to pour sections of sidewalk. The photo below shows two members of the Waters crew on Thursday finishing up the final section of sidewalk that runs from Court Square down Merchants Row to Main Street and then up past St. Stephen's to the crosswalk that connects the Town Green and the Post Office, forming the perimeter of the park.

On the far right of the photo, you can see that Waters has begun forming up the interior paved area of the lower section of Triangle Park. We'll have more on that next week. You can also see the location of the fountain several feet into the park.

For its part, Landshapes has nearly finished placing ashlar blocks as seating areas in Triangle Park and has planted native grasses and flowers both along the Battell driveway and in and around the St. Stephen’s Memorial Garden as shown in the two photos below.

As we move into late October, Printer’s Alley will begin to see more activity.

Next week Kubricky will begin backfilling Printer’s Alley alongside the cap wall in preparation for getting the area ready for winter.

If the weather is favorable, Waters will begin setting curbs and pouring concrete for the new sidewalk that will connect Main Street and the Marble Works next to the Duclos building. If not, the walkway will be repaved with asphalt to get us through winter and the sidewalk will be constructed next Spring.

The reopening of the roadway connecting Main Street and the Marble Works (remember that?) will most likely be next Spring.

On the south end of the project, as shown in our final photo of the week, Kubricky is backfilling the area between the u-walls and the slope below South Pleasant Street and preparing to reconstruct the stream bank along Otter Creek as we talked about in our last update.

And on a final note, there aren’t many out-of-state places Vermonters can vacation these days but Maine’s Pemaquid Point is one, and I highly recommend it.

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

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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