VTrans will present its plans to replace state bridge 177 on Route 100 between the Lareau Farm and The Elusive Moose in Waitsfield next week during a Waitsfield Select Board meeting on July 13.
The bridge will be replaced next summer with a bridge that will be pre-cast off-site and trucked to the site and assembled. VTrans' plans call for Route 100 to be closed for up to 33 days starting on July 5 at 6:59 a.m. and ending on Sunday, August 7, 2016, according to Rob Young, project manager for VTrans' Accelerated Bridge Program.
During the closure, traffic will be detoured west on Route 17, south on German Flats and east on Sugarbush Access Road, Young said. He said that VTrans had secured the OK from the towns of Warren and Fayston to use the local roads during the closure period.
This bridge replacement project was presented to the towns two years ago and at the time Route 100 was to have been closed for only two weeks with crews expected to be working 24/7. Young said in an email to Waitsfield town administrator Valerie Capels that the closure period is longer than originally planned at the conceptual stage and said that design changes and developments resulted in the longer closure.
By phone this week, Young said that the length of the road closure was still being reviewed and that he'd have a final answer at the Monday meeting. When the bridge is replaced, VTrans will be incorporating a path under the bridge from one side of the road to the other side.
Young said that while the contractor the state selects is allowed to work 24/7, "They don't typically do that." Young explained that the state incentivizes contractors to complete projects on time with financial incentives.
To encourage the contractor to provide a maximum effort to complete the project VTrans is willing to pay the contractor a lump sum of $77,000 for completing the project on or before the end date. Additionally, contractors will be compensated at $470 per hour for work that is completed on time or early up to maximum of $154,000, including the lump sum.
When this project was first brought up, Lareau Farm and others voiced concerns about the impact of Route 100 being closed and workers installing a bridge during the busy summer season, including during Lareau Farm's wedding season.
In addition to wedding season, Capels provided Young with a list of some of the other summer activities that will take place during the closure period including the Waitsfield Farmers' Market, Mad Marathon, Round Up on the River, Vermont Music Festival and Vermont Festival of the Arts.
Young said that VTrans can only work in the river between June 1 and October 1 and the towns preferred to have the work take place when school is not in session.