South Street project to wrap up next month

MIDDLEBURY — Construction crews this week are expected to complete the excavation phase of a lengthy, $1,125,316 public works project on South Street, leaving only repaving work that will conclude next month.
That was the word on Monday from Middlebury Director of Operations Dan Werner, who has been getting regular updates on a project that includes replacement of roughly 2,200 feet of water main from Porter Field Road, south to just past the Porter Medical Center campus. At the same time and within the same stretch, crews have been replacing 2,200 feet of sanitary force main, as well as 1,100 feet of gravity sanitary sewer. Once that new infrastructure is laid in, workers will lay around 8,300 feet of newly recycled pavement from Porter Field Road to just past the entrance of the EastView at Middlebury retirement community.
“It’s gone pretty well,” Werner said of the work, which began in late May and has caused traffic delays during spells when the street has been open to only one lane of traffic. Along with being a residential road, South Street is home to Porter Hospital, EastView and the Middlebury Regional EMS ambulance service.
“We certainly recognize the challenges and complexities involved in performing such a significant project on a very busy street that serves, among other things, a hospital, nursing home and physician practices, and we appreciate the efforts of the town to accomplish this important work while maintaining access for our patients, staff and visitors,” Porter Hospital spokesman Ron Hallman said.
Werner acknowledged work has proved more delicate and complicated than first anticipated. Construction crews have encountered more ledge than anticipated. And operators of heavy equipment have had to take extra care not to tangle machinery into overhead electrical wires, Werner noted.
But as of Monday, workers were finishing their major excavation tasks, according to Werner. Those included replacing a storm culvert north of the Porter Hospital entrance, and completing the installation of sanitary force main north of Porter Field Road. Crews this week were also expected to start putting in an asphalt sidewalk leading from Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation to the neighboring EastView development. Werner said he expected the ensuing repaving project to be completed by mid-October.
“Then they’ll be done,” Werner said of the workers, from Jeffersonville-based Desroches Construction Services.
Done, that is, until the town assembles enough resources to replace the same public works infrastructure on the length of South Street from Main Street to Porter Field Road, according to Werner. No specific timetable has been set for that phase of the project.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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