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07/23/2009

By Kara Herlihy

The bridge on Route 100B 4.5 miles north of  Moretown Village closed this week and will remain closed through August 17 while crews work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While this bridge is closed, traffic will be detoured on VT100 North toward Waterbury then onto US 2 East toward Middlesex.  All work on this project is expected to be completed by September 4, 2009.  

The following activity will take place on the project during the week of July 27:

• Jack hammering bridge expansion joints
• Water blasting will begin to remove concrete from the deck
• Replace bridge expansion joints

The first day of construction on a bridge located 4.5 miles north of Moretown Village "Did not go very well," according to Moretown Select Board chair Rae Washburn, who discussed the monthlong project with residents at the July 20 select board meeting.

"I know the detour is on everybody's mind," Washburn said, following the first day of the deck rehabilitation project that will keep the bridge closed to all traffic 24/7 until August 17.

The 364-foot bridge was closed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation to undergo repairs to the deteriorating deck and failing joints. Traffic is currently being detoured on Route 100 north toward Waterbury and along Route 2 east toward Middlesex. The bridge will be closed until August 17.

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LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY

Several Moretown residents expressed frustration Monday evening, over the increase in traffic over Moretown Common Road, which is open to local traffic only during the construction period.

Moretown first constable Ray Munn said there was "quite a lot of traffic up there" including delivery trucks, "10-wheelers," and "a lot of people going faster than 35 miles per hour," he continued.

POLICE COVERAGE

Washburn said the Vermont State Police were contacted and plans were made for increased police coverage and traffic monitoring over the winding dirt road.

Many residents called attention to the lack of signage properly directing traffic over the detour route, especially on the Montpelier side, where they assume most of the traffic over the Common Road originated.

Munn also called attention to the construction personnel who were parked inappropriately along the roadsides and standing in the road, creating a safety hazard. 

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TRAFFIC COUNT

"Hopefully tomorrow will be better," Washburn said.

Select board member Stephanie Venema said that AOT conducted a traffic count the week before construction began and another will be completed this week.

AOT representative and project manager Chris Williams was present at an earlier meeting to assure residents and town officials that any disturbance of the roads as a result of the construction will be remedied.

CLOSELY MONITORED

The Common Road specifically will be "as good if not better than it was before," he added.

Williams continued, "The situation will be closely monitored to protect the safety of our people that use the road."

Washburn added that AOT has agreed to hire the town grader at a rate of $100 per hour to repair any damage to Moretown Common Road as a result of the project.

Julie Chauvin is the public relations officer for the project and the person to contact with questions and concerns regarding the work schedule, traffic flow and patterns and access delays. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (802) 888-7701 ext. 223.

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