MIDDLEBURY — Traffic interruptions will take place on Middlebury’s Merchants Row beginning Monday, Nov. 30, to accommodate the ongoing transport of huge, Cross Street Bridge-related beams through town.
The massive concrete beams — ranging in length from 65 feet to 110 feet — were made at J.P. Carrara & Sons and must be trucked, with escort, through downtown Middlebury at various intervals through Friday, Dec. 4.
Work crews on Monday, Nov. 30, were scheduled to install a temporary bridge to span the deteriorating railroad overpass on Merchants Row. Carrara was due to use that temporary span beginning Nov. 30 for the delivery of two long beams along a route that runs south along Route 116, west on Route 125, north on Route 7 to Court Square, down Merchants Row to Main Street and south to Bakery Lane and the Cross Street Bridge construction site.
There, the beams will be moved into place with the aid of a massive crane.
Carrara plans to preserve as much parking on Merchants Row east of the railroad overpass as possible during installation of the temporary bridge and during beam transport. Parking will be prohibited in several places immediately east of the bridge.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, Merchants Row will be closed to all traffic and parking and deliveries from 6 a.m. to approximately noon, while access to the parking area behind the Battell Block will be restricted. When Merchants Row re-opens, traffic will be one-way, heading east (from Main Street to South Pleasant Street). Parking will be prohibited on the north side of Merchant’ Row, with diagonal parking permitted on the south side of the street.
The Addison County Transit Resources bus stop and transfer point for Burlington and Rutland buses will be temporarily moved from Merchants Row to Main Street in front of the Middlebury Post Office.
During the beam transportation process, parking will be prohibited on the west side of Main Street, from Park Street to College Street. Traffic will be temporarily delayed for short periods as beams travel through the route.
Officials stressed that downtown businesses will remain open throughout the construction timetable. Several businesses have scheduled special events and sales to help celebrate the bridge work.
Town officials also emphasized that the moving of the beams is dependant on favorable (dry) weather.
“If the weather does not cooperate, things have to wait and the schedule gets delayed,” said Middlebury selectboard Chairman John Tenny.