The Waitsfield covered bridge is still closed to cars, but another local detour just got a little bit more bearable—and a little bit more expensive.
As The Valley Reporter went to press on Wednesday, July 8, the Moretown Mountain Road had reopened to cars. Later this week, construction crews plan to close the road to all vehicular traffic during the day and reopen it at night. While the road is closed, detour signs will reroute traffic via Moretown Common Road to Route 100B.
Phase II of the village hill re-engineering project, which will take an estimated two to three weeks, began on Monday, June 22. Last September the Moretown Select Board accepted a bid from G.W. Tatro Construction for $341,555 to re-engineer and reconstruct the pavement on the steep hill leading down into the village.
The town received a $160,000 grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to offset the cost of the reconstruction project, which was designed to increase visibility at the road's intersection with Route 100B as well as improve its condition to meet VTrans standards.
CLOSED FOR A MONTH
Phase 1 of the project, which took place last September, involved relocating power and telephone poles as well as cutting, filling, stabilizing and paving within the town right of way. During Phase 1, the 1,000-foot stretch of road from the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100 to Moretown Common Road was closed to nonresidential traffic for about one month.
At the Moretown Select Board meeting on Monday, July 6, however, select board member Rae Washburn reported that the town will need to come up with $4,500 that was not included in the original cost estimate to repave a stretch of Moretown Common Road.
On top of that, construction crews have uncovered a drainage issue at Moretown Mountain Road's intersection with Route 100B "that was unknown until they excavated," Washburn said. Basically, "There's still water coming down the hill and there was no plan to address that," Washburn said of the project's engineering.
Right now, G.W. Tatro is working on finding and installing a way to divert the water before they repave the road, rather than after. The town does not yet know how much extra the drainage will cost, but town administrator Cheryl Brown said Monday that there could be leftover grant money to help cover the unforeseen expense.