New Route 7 lights installed in Ferrisburgh, will be activated soon

NEW LIGHTS AT the North Ferrisburgh intersection of Route 7 with Old Hollow and Stage roads are expected to flash this weekend and then become fully operational sometime next week, after project delays. Photo courtesy of VTrans

FERRISBURGH — Work to install traffic lights at the North Ferrisburgh intersection of Route 7 and Stage and Old Hollow roads resumed on Wednesday, and the lights could start flashing as soon as this weekend and be fully operational by next week.

The project contractor was back on the job Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a Wednesday email from Agency of Transportation Project Manager Taylor Sisson to Ferrisburgh officials and other stakeholders.

“They are hoping to turn the signal on tomorrow and have it running in ‘flash’ through the weekend,” Sisson wrote.

That would means “the lights would flash yellow for traffic continuing through the intersection on Route 7 and flash red for left turners off of Route 7 and for Old Hollow Road and Stage Road,” he added. “This is our standard protocol for turning on a new signal at an intersection that was previously unsignalized. The contractor will work to get the signal operating fully next week.”

Not for the first time, work had been delayed this spring. According to VTrans, utility companies had not gotten around to tasks that had to be completed before the lights could be installed.

Sisson wrote this in an April 13 email:

“Unfortunately, neither Comcast nor Waitsfield Telecom moved their utility lines as of Monday, the 11th, as we instructed. Waitsfield Telecom was waiting for Comcast to move their utility first, but is now going to be meeting with a subcontractor tomorrow to discuss some relocation options to bypass Comcast to get this work done more quickly.”

The original target date was this past fall. On March 16, 2021, VTrans emailed town officials, stating the agency had hired Don Weston Excavating Inc. to do the work, and the company was “getting ready to start work this summer” and was “optimistic they will be able to meet their completion date of Oct. 15.”

Sisson this spring cited COVID and uncooperative weather as additional factors in the delays.

The lights are being installed at an intersection that a 2019 VTrans study confirmed is dangerous, something that Ferrisburgh residents and officials had maintained for years.

VTrans research revealed 21 crashes at that intersection in the five years leading up to a January 2019 forum in Ferrisburgh at which the agency pledged to install traffic lights or a roundabout, with the majority of the five dozen residents there favoring lights. Later in the spring of 2019 VTrans agreed to install signals.

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