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Dangerous section of Rt. 125 up for discussion

CORNWALL — The Vermont Agency of Transportation has begun the scoping process for plans to address the section of Route 125 near Cider Mill Road that has been the site of many accidents and even fatalities. There will be a local concerns meeting on Thursday, June 16, at 7 p.m. at the Cornwall Town Hall and on Zoom at tinyurl.com/2ptp9pr7 .

The meeting is one of the first steps in launching a study into the best solution to the accident-ridden segment of Route 125.

“The purpose of this meeting is not to present solutions but to better define and understand the needs,” the flyer reads.

After the death of Cornwall resident Deane Rubright in 2018 in a crash at the site, Addison County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Adam Lougee sent a letter to VTrans Secretary Joseph Flynn urging the Agency of Transportation to remove or lower a small ledge outcropping on the segment.

However, planning lost some steam during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that VTrans has opened its study, the community will be able to voice their concerns in the meeting next week.

Holmes Jacobs has been a proponent of addressing the safety concerns in the segment. When Jacobs, Two Brothers Tavern co-owner, heard of the death of Rubright in 2018, he was reminded of other deaths in the same spot over 20 years, and he lobbied for changes along the road.

According to Jacobs, possible plans to be discussed at the meeting include removing the two knolls, adding wide shoulders, and reducing the speed limit. He advocates for removing the ledge knolls.

“While it may be expensive, you can’t really put a price on the loss of more human lives,” Jacobs said.

In the meeting, participants will look at the physical layout and determine the next steps. There have already been moves to add signs, but according to Lougee, larger realignment fixes are necessary.

The community is encouraged to get involved in whatever way they can, as comments and concerns will be considered in developing the Purpose and Need Statement for these projects as well as the development of the proposed improvements.

“It’s an important safety concern to the community, and we’d love to have as many people from the community as we can participate,” said Lougee.

Those who cannot attend the meeting in person are also encouraged to participate in other ways. Lougee welcomed sending letters with other accidents that residents know of in the segment, or any other content that may be useful to Vermont Agency of Transportation Project Manor Taylor Sisson at 219 North Main St., Barre, VT 05641 or Taylor.Sisson@vermont.gov, ccing alougee@acrpc.org.

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