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2021 Update #3

Winter Then and Now, ACTR Stop Approved

The Highlights

  • Looking back on February 2020

  • Selectboard approves new downtown bus stop for ACTR

Our current weather notwithstanding, we’ve now cleared mid-February, the days are getting longer, March is just around the corner—is it too early to start thinking about Spring?

Last year at this time, Governor Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order suspending in-person operations for all non-essential businesses was still several weeks off and construction was continuing right through the winter.

ECI’s crane-mounted vibratory hammer was daily driving in steel sheet piles on the north end of the project and the Kubricky crew was “down in the trenches,” working through mud and slush to continue installing support of excavation in the rail corridor.

The first photo below, taken last year on February 28, looks north toward the Merchants Row temporary bridge from the bottom of the Battell driveway. The second photo, taken Thursday of this week (I had to slog through a few feet of frozen snow to get it!) is the same view nearly a year later. What a difference from last year.

ACTR’s Downtown Bus Stop

In our last update we reviewed a proposal from ACTR and Town officials to relocate ACTR’s downtown bus stop (currently in front of the Post Office on the southbound side of Main Street) to the northbound lane of Main Street alongside Triangle Park.

At its February 9 meeting, the Middlebury Selectboard unanimously approved this plan.

As a reminder, as construction draws to a close later this summer the new downtown stop will be located in the first two parking spaces alongside Triangle Park just north of Merchants Row. This is purely a stop and not a transfer point like ACTR’s hub on Academy Street and so there will only ever be one bus at a time in this space. Nor will there be a shelter as on Academy Street.

The two downtown bus stops for ACTR will now consist of this stop in the northbound lane of Main Street and the current Cannon Park stop in the southbound lane. ACTR buses will no longer travel up Merchants Row.

As I mentioned, the new stop will improve pedestrian and passenger safety with minimal impact on traffic and parking downtown. There will be no loss of downtown parking; ACTR’s current stop outside the Post Office will return to two parking spots, one of which will be a handicapped space.

To create room for the bus to pull in and out of traffic without impacting northbound motorists, the Selectboard also approved eliminating the left-hand turn lane onto Merchants Row from Main Street and realigning the center line with the Main Street center line south of Merchants Row.

You’ll still be able to make that left-hand turn onto Merchants Row from Main Street. That won’t change.

These changes are not imminent; they will go into effect in July-August as final paving and line striping of Main Street takes place.

In other construction news, the historic fountain is being transferred from storage to a location where it can be fully restored in preparation for its return to Triangle Park. Now that will surely be a sign that Spring has arrived.

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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