By Lisa Loomis

VTrans plans to repave Route 100 from Waitsfield to Warren have been postponed from 2009 to 2010.

The delay will accommodate two other local projects involving work within the right of way and along side of Route 100 through Waitsfield Village. Town officials met last week with VTrans representatives and others involved in other two major projects.

One project is the installation of the pipes and infrastructure for Waitsfield's future municipal water and waste water systems, and the second project is the creation of a sidewalk from the Waitsfield Elementary School through Irasville.

Originally scheduled for 2009, the paving/road rebuilding project will be moved to 2010. This means that during 2009 the road and right of way along Route 100 will be dug up for water/sewer pipes, and then the sidewalk project will be constructed. Waiting a year to grind up and resurface Route 100 will allow the ground to settle after the municipal piping is installed.

According to Waitsfield town administrator Valerie Capels, the meeting was very productive and marked one of the first times all the players have been present at the same table.  Participants worked on how they might work together for maximum efficiency and cost savings, how they could minimize possible conflicts and how to improve communication between the various project organizers.

Lance Phelps and John Kiernan, Waitsfield's municipal water and waste water engineers, explained the town's proposed projects - which hinge on funding and an affirmative bond vote.  Town residents will vote on a bond in March to finance the project and right now there is still a $2 million short fall for the wastewater project.

Right-of-way and permission to use the Route 100 roadway are still pending. The water project is on a timeline to be completed in 2009. Keirnan said the schedule is very tight given that the water/wastewater project's road cuts would need time to settle before the paving project is done.

Mark Bannon and Kevin Russell gave an overview of the Route 100 sidewalk project, a project 15 years in the making. Preliminary right of way plans are being updated and that phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 with construction slated for late summer 2009.

Bill Preis, VTrans project supervisor for the sidewalk, suggested waiting until 2010 and having the paving project follow the sidewalk project in that year.

Mike Fowler, VTrans, Pavement Management, explained the Route 100 paving project. He stated that the project will extend from the Waitsfield village north gateway to Warren just south of the Access Road.  He will verify whether it is slated to go any further to the village.  He said that funding was budgeted for 2009 but, suggested it would be better to move the project to 2010 in order to allow the water/wastewater and sidewalk projects to be completed.

Changing the budget now to 2010 would ensure that the funds were available. If the paving stays budgeted for 2009 and the other projects are not done, that funding could be lost or pushed out several years.

The repaving of the village center will be done differently than it was on Route 100 from Duxbury to Waterbury last summer and fall. Because of the impact of vibration on residents and historic structures, VTRans will not utilize the same 'compaction' method used this summer. Rather than the full depth reclamation planned for the rest of the project, this means that the paving project will simply mill (grind and recycle) the first two to three inches of pavement through the village, shim, and pave to the existing curbs, etc. The profile of the road after paving is not expected to change.  

Brian Fleisher from the Waitsfield Planning Commission spoke about the interest of the Valley's three-town community including Warren and Fayston to have bike lanes added to the paving project from Waitsfield to Warren. Fleisher has made contact with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and is confident that funding would be made available to the paving project to include the bike lanes through a federal earmark.

The water/wastewater project will need to use the Route 100 roadway south of Irasville for the pipeline to the Munn site were wastewater will be treated.  This may require additional right of way and could provide the space for the bicycle lanes. Kiernan will contact Paul Hodge, Vtrans Survey, to research the historic ROW.

Phelps provided the frame work for a realistic schedule and sequencing of the projects:  

• Bond vote passes - March 2008,

• Construction of the water/waste water system begins - summer 2008,

• Construction of water/wastewater system completion - summer 2009,

• Construction of sidewalk project - summer 2009 or early 2010, and

• Construction of paving project - summer or late 2010.