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Middlebury shutdown: Week 2 of 10

Independent photo/Alexa Lapiner

Work is in full swing on the $72 million downtown Middlebury rail bridges project. We’re officially in “week two” of a 10-week closure of Main Street and Merchants Row to culminate in a new, 360-foot tunnel that will supplant two 1920s-era rail bridges that were rapidly deteriorating.
As the Independent went to press on Wednesday, huge cranes were installing the first of the 422 precast-concrete sections that will form the new rail tunnel.
The work really has to be seen firsthand. (See our video coverage here.) But here are some facts and figures about the project thus far, courtesy of Jim Gish, the town of Middlebury’s liaison to the rail bridges project:
•  Kubricky Construction workers excavated 13,000 cubic yards of soil from the rail corridor between July 13 and July 20.
•  Number of truckloads to haul that soil to various locations: 1,300.
•  Amount of lagging required to stabilize rail slopes during excavation: 30,000 square feet.
•  Average weight of each precast-concrete tunnel piece: 80,000 pounds.
•  50 blasts will be required to construct the new downtown stormwater management system and remove ledge from underneath Main Street Bridge.
•  An average of 90 workers are at the site each day right now. This number includes Vermont Agency of Transportation inspectors, Kubricky management and crew, Maine Drilling & Blasting crew, ECI crew and independent truckers.
•  Depth from Triangle Park to the lowest point of excavation between the two bridges: 30 feet.
Many downtown Middlebury businesses are still open for business, and would appreciate your support.

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