2021 Update #4

Work to Resume in April, Repaving Our Downtown Highways


The Highlights

  • Final phase of construction to begin in April

  • VTrans to repave sections of Routes 7, 30, and 125 starting in May


At the most recent meeting of the downtown construction project team, Kubricky announced that, weather depending, it expects to be back in the field in the first week of April. That leaves us five short weeks away from getting underway with the final—and what should be the least disruptive—phase of the Middlebury Rail & Bridge Project.


As the weather warms, we’ll see the further landscaping of Triangle Park and, across the street in Printer’s Alley, construction of the new Lazarus Park.


Even as more Vermonters get vaccinated and restrictions start to ease, VTrans and Kubricky will start the 2021 construction season with the same Covid workplace protocols in place as last Fall.


And if you want to mark your calendar now, VTrans, Kubricky, and VHB—as they have done every year since 2018—will present this year’s construction plan to the Selectboard and to the public on Tuesday, April 27. Unlike past years, that presentation will take place virtually via Zoom.


As a reminder, all project work will wrap up this year no later than Tuesday, August 17.


A Facelift for Our Downtown Roadways

As I mentioned briefly in our first 2021 update back in January, starting in May VTrans will repave significant stretches of the three major state highways that pass through downtown Middlebury.


For those who daily contend with the rutted grooves on Route 7 and, as shown in the photo below, the heavily patched and potholed section of Route 30 out near the College’s sports complex, this will be good news.

Milling, resurfacing, pavement marking, sign placement, shoulder and drainage improvements—all the activity typically associated with paving projects—will take place in the following sections of Routes 7, 30, and 125.


Route 7—From approximately where High Street enters Route 7 on the north to just past the intersection with Creek Road on the south.


Route 30—From its intersection with Route 7 at the Congregational Church south to the point where the ledge drops down to the flats and Fifield Farm.


Route 125—From where you enter campus from the west down College Street to its intersection with the roundabout and then across Cross Street to its intersection with Route 7. Academy Street will also be paved as part of the 125 effort.


So that’s pretty much every major road through campus and through downtown.


The other good news—for those who navigate these roads during the day if not for those who live along them—is that all of the work on Route 7 and much of the work on Routes 30 and 125 will be done at night. Night work begins at 7 PM and ends at 6 AM.


The paving contract has been awarded to J. Hutchins Inc. out of Richmond VT. We don’t yet have a specific timeline for the work, which is scheduled to be completed by October 15.


I’ll share more details on the work plan and timeline once I have them in hand. In the meantime, if you’re interested, VTrans has created a web page for the Route 7 section of the project, which you can access here.


Like the Amtrak Rail Platform project, whose construction will begin later this year, the repaving project is separate from but timed to complement the completion of Middlebury’s Rail & Bridge Project.


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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