Work begins on temporary bridges for Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — For years the Middlebury rail bridges project has consisted of speculation, blueprints and written narratives. 
Starting this week, the $52 million project will begin to take physical shape, as workers lay the groundwork for installing two temporary spans that will allow for demolition of the deteriorating Main Street and Merchants Row bridges.
In the first of what are likely to be hundreds of regular updates, Middlebury rail bridges project Community Liaison Jim Gish opened his update with three simple words:
“Here we go.”
On Friday, June 2, Kubricky Construction officials began drilling a test pit at the entrance to Printer’s Alley in order to locate the town’s water and sewer force main underneath the roadway. Printer’s Alley was briefly closed that day to allow for the work. Some parking on both sides of Main Street was cordoned off to maintain two-way traffic.
Work was slated to begin in earnest on Monday, June 5, with installation of “mini-piles” underneath Main Street to facilitate construction of the new bridge when it’s installed.
Impact on parking on Main Street the week of June 5 is expected to be significant. Most of the parking from Main Street’s intersection with Merchants Row to the crosswalk connecting the Post Office and the village green will be lost as the contractor maintains two-way traffic while occupying first the eastbound lane and then the westbound lane as the mini-piles are installed.
No construction activity is scheduled between July 1 and 19. Plans call for the two temporary bridges to be in place by mid-August.
For more information on the project, see Gish’s blog at www.middleburybridges.org and the VTrans project website at vtrans.vermont.gov/projects/middlebury. Also, the Addison Independent will feature regular project updates at addisonindependent.com and in its print publications.

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