2021 Update #27
A Big Day for Middlebury
Dedication ceremony for Lazarus Park on Saturday
Paving schedule next week for downtown roadways
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival opening night on Wednesday
This coming Saturday at noon Town and State officials will join local citizens in dedicating our newest downtown public space in Printer’s Alley to the Lazarus family.
You may recall that in 2018 a group of local citizens petitioned the Middlebury Selectboard to name the new park after the Lazarus Family, whose department store occupied the site for most of the 20th century and whose generosity and civic-mindedness were widely admired in Middlebury and around the state.
The dedication ceremony also provides an opportunity to mark and celebrate the end of Middlebury’s Bridge & Rail Project, which wraps up in September.
The ceremony will combine remarks from those whose leadership has been critical to the success of the project with those who can offer personal reflections on the Lazarus family. Governor Scott is expected to attend.
The dedication ceremony will conclude with a formal turning on of the historic fountain that sits in Triangle Park at the intersection of Main and Merchants.
If it’s raining, the ceremony will be held in the Town Offices at 77 Main Street.
Following the dedication ceremony, the fun begins. Town Hall Theater and Neighbors Together are collaborating to bring you an afternoon of community celebration enlivened by circus performers, live music, sidewalk sales, a children’s train taking trips around downtown, Middlebury Money giveaways, and much more. For the complete rundown on what’s planned when and where, see here.
Your Weekly Construction Update
Despite the near-constant rain on Wednesday and Thursday, work continued to progress toward the project’s finish line around town.
Before we get to that, though, I wanted to acknowledge the arrival earlier this week in Triangle Park of 10 Adirondack chairs, the gift of an anonymous donor(s). These maintenance-free poly chairs are shown in the photo below along with four traditional park benches that also arrived mid-week courtesy of Middlebury’s Downtown Improvement District Commission.
Another reason to come downtown: comfortable seating! And while our photo may look a little bleak in Thursday's rain, I can tell you that these chairs were quickly and fully occupied during sunnier days earlier in the week.
Back to construction. The milling of the Marble Works roadways took place on schedule Monday night. This did not include the milling of Middle Seymour Street as I reported last week. The milling and paving of that town road will take place later this Fall after construction and landscaping of the parking area for the new Amtrak rail platform.
Milling of Merchants Row took place on Wednesday night and, as we go to press, milling of Main Street is scheduled to take place in rather rainy weather on Thursday night.
Next week, weather permitting, is the paving of these downtown roadways. The current schedule is as follows: Marble Works overnight on Monday, Merchants Row overnight on Tuesday, Main Street overnight on Wednesday. Water Street, the National Bank’s Seymour Street branch, and the roadway alongside the new sidewalk on Seymour Street will all be paved as scheduling permits on one of these three evenings.
During paving, Merchants Row will be closed entirely to motorists. Flaggers will manage traffic in and out of the Marble Works during paving and there will be alternating lane traffic on Main Street. Again, all this work will take place at night, starting around 7 PM.
Finish work continues around town. In our next photo, you can see Waters installing hand rail down the steps and around the labyrinth in Lazarus Park. Waters has put 2x4s in place for now to support the rail until the posts can be grouted at ground level.
And in the next photo, you can see that the bike rack in front of the Post Office has been excavated in preparation for pouring a concrete slab to give the rack a solid base.
Lots of activity up at the rail platform on Thursday this week as all the steel posts to support the platform canopy arrived and will be installed next week. A crane will be operating alongside Middle Seymour Street to install the steel structures so do keep an eye out for construction activity as you drive in and out of the Marble Works next week.
And finally, on the south end of the project, Kubricky expects next week to begin taking out the access road and restoring the stream bank along Otter Creek, one of the last significant activities scheduled for the project.
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Opening Night on Wednesday
Before we wrap up this week’s update, I wanted to remind you that one of our favorite events of the year arrives Wednesday evening as the 7th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival gets underway at Town Hall Theater. You can watch the MNFF7 trailer and check out all the great films here.
That’s all for today. See you downtown.
Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.