Starting next summer, the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B will look a little different.
At a special meeting on Monday, September 8, Moretown Select Board accepted a bid from G.W. Tatro Construction, Inc. of Jeffersonville for $341,555 to reconstruct the pavement on the steep hill leading down into the village. The town has a $160,000 grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to offset the cost of the reconstruction project, which will increase visibility at the intersection as well as improve road conditions to meet VTrans standards.
Phase 1 of the project, which is scheduled to begin this September, will involve relocating power and telephone poles as well as cutting, filling, stabilizing and paving within the town right of way. During Phase 1 of the project, the 1,000-foot stretch of road from the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B to Moretown Common Road will be closed to nonresident traffic for up to one month, during which detour signs will direct other drivers. Phase 2, which includes any work leftover from Phase 1 after this year, is scheduled to begin next April, with a final project completion date of July 1, 2015.
Moretown contracted with Engineering Ventures, PC of Burlington this past June to design the reconstruction project for $19,300. Before the design was put out to bid, the town discussed alternate plans for fixing what the select board felt was a problematic intersection, including the potential installation of a three-way stop sign, which VTrans indicated was not an option after conducting a traffic study and reviewing the accident history of the area.
The intersection was also brought up earlier this year when the town discussed applying for a grant from the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition to construct a sidewalk in the village.
The section of sidewalk along the west side of Route 100B from the post office to the town yard received the most votes from residents who responded to a survey asking them to rank which sections of sidewalk in the village they'd like to see repaired first and, while the select board agreed with residents that the section of sidewalk that crosses the intersection along the west side of Route 100B would be the most valuable to the town, it would also be the most complicated.
The intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B—to put it kindly—"has issues," select board chair Tom Martin said last year, and other board members expressed concern about the cars that come down Moretown Mountain Road in winter and slide straight across Route 100B into the guardrail (and potential sidewalk).
In the end, the board agreed to wait to fix the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B before installing a sidewalk in an area that could be dangerous for pedestrians. Instead, the town applied for and received a $375,000 grant to reconstruct the section of sidewalk on the east side of Route 100B in the upper village between Moretown Mountain Road and Hurdle Road.