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Middlebury’s Bakery Lane won’t close for foliage season

MIDDLEBURY — The closing of Middlebury’s Bakery Lane at its northern entrance (fronting Main Street), which was due to begin Monday, Sept. 12, has been put off, probably until next spring.
The imminent closure of the downtown street to accommodate repairs to the brick façade of the Dyer Block was announced last Friday. Middlebury Development Review Board Administrator Ted Dunakin that day said the town was happy to hear that building owner Peter Jette would fix the brickwork for safety reasons.
Bricks fell onto Bakery Lane last February, though fortunately no one was hurt. Workers at that time put plywood at the top of the wall as a stop-gap until a more permanent fix could be made.
The closure would prevent vehicles from turning onto Bakery Lane from Main Street as workers using a lift and/or scaffolding made masonry repairs.
However, news of the closure, which was projected to last a month, came as a shock to some Bakery Lane business owners, including Craig Goldstein of Jackson’s on the River. He noted the closure would coincide with the critical fall foliage season, one of the most lucrative times for area businesses.
Jette said this week that when he heard this he met with Goldstein Friday afternoon. Goldstein said Jette was very understanding of his concerns about the timing of the road closure, and that he’d move the work to next spring because it can’t be done in the winter
“I don’t want to interfere with anyone’s business,” Jette said. He noted that the reason the work was not done sooner is that his contractor, Liszt Historic Restoration, was booked until now.
As it stands, the Dyer Building brickwork repairs will be done next spring unless an upcoming inspection shows that it needs to be done sooner for safety reasons, Jette said.
“Even if it does need to be done sooner it won’t interfere with foliage season,” Jette said.
Dunakin said the town favors getting the repairs done sooner rather than later.
“It’s in the town’s interest to ensure safety,” he said.

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