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2021 Update #13

Summer Comes Early

The Highlights

  • More progress in the parks

  • A pop-up artists market on Merchants Row this Friday

We all seem to be reveling in this early summer weather, and it has certainly benefited the construction crews working to bring our four-year downtown construction project to a close in August.

Let’s start our weekly tour in the centerpiece of this construction effort, Triangle Park.

With Landshapes having installed the final granite pavers last week, Kubricky spread topsoil in the space where lawn will eventually take root. And, as shown in our first photo of the week, the new sidewalk connecting Main Street and Merchants Row alongside St. Stephen’s is now open.

In the photo you can see the top soil spread out. That area will be seeded in the next week or two. Those are our new hawthorn trees budding out on the left of the sidewalk and the church’s mature honey locust on the right.

Moving across Main Street to Lazarus Park, Kubricky stripped the forms from the retaining wall that will partly encircle the stone paver labyrinth.

In our next photo, the Kubricky crew is grading and compacting the area within and outside the retaining wall. You can see a compactor at work in the center of the photo. The ADA-accessible pathway we’ve been talking about will wrap around the back end of the retaining wall.

Next week it’s likely we’ll see Landshapes begin to install the stone paver labyrinth on a base of crushed stone within the retaining wall. Kubricky will install a ground hydrant to provide a source of water for the new plantings in Lazarus Park.

Landshapes will be busy over in the Battell driveway next week as well. The replacement of the south cap walls that we discussed last week will get underway with Landshapes removing the ashlar blocks and landscaping that sit alongside the Battell upper drive in order to give Kubricky access to the cap wall area.

At the same time, Kubricky will bring in about five truckloads of concrete barriers to mark the edges of the access road connecting Water Street and the Battell parking lot and reestablish the traffic signals on either end.

The access road, shown in our next photo below, will reopen on Tuesday, June 1, as repair of the south cap wall gets underway and the Battell driveway entrance on Merchants Row is temporarily closed. You can see concrete being poured into the formed up retaining wall behind the Smith Housing Partnership building in the distance.

Back on the north end of the project, ECI continues to construct the cap walls between Main Street and the new rail platform. Next week the ECI crew will be installing underdrain and backfilling the Marble Works side of the rail corridor (visible in the Lazarus Park photo above) so that Kubricky can reestablish curbing in that area and pour new concrete pads for the Marble Works dumpsters.

Finishing our weekly tour at the site of the new Amtrak rail platform, Kubricky has now formed up most of the 20 piers that will support the canopy that will overhang the platform. Several of those piers at the north end of the platform are shown below in our final photo of the week. Next week Kubricky will form up the remaining piers and begin the pouring of concrete into the forms. Soon enough, this will start to look like a rail platform.

Bundle Pop-Up Event on Merchants Row

One of the many successful events and initiatives engineered by Neighbors Together and the Better Middlebury Partnership has been the pop-up event showcase Bundle. Bundle’s popular workshops and artists markets started at 60 Main Street, relocated to 51 Main, and then moved outside during the past year.

The next Bundle event takes place this Friday, May 21, as Town Hall Theater collaborates with the Neighbors Together team and Bundle mastermind Kelly Hickey to put on an outdoor artists market on Merchants Row between 2 PM and 8 PM. The Bobcat food truck and music from Burlington band Barbacoa round out the event.

As more of us are vaccinated and restrictions loosen, an outdoor event like this is a great opportunity to shake off the Covid cobwebs and enjoy our summer weather.

I’ll have a full round-up of all our downtown construction projects next week as we get ready for the Memorial Day Weekend.

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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