The town of Waitsfield, on behalf of the Mad River Path Association, will submit a Section 1111 permit application to VTrans, seeking approval for one of two new crosswalks proposed as part of the Mad River Recreation Hub.
The recreation hub will connect Waitsfield and Irasville to other recreation trails via a bridge over the Mill Brook behind the Localfolk Smokehouse in Waitsfield. That project includes signage, a visitors’ center, parking for up to 80 cars and access to local shops and restaurants via a new section of the Mad River Path and two new crosswalks. The project is funded by a $408,000 Vermont Outdoor Recreation and Economic Collaborative grant.
One of the two crosswalks proposed is at the southern end of the field behind the Localfolk Smokehouse. It will cross Route 100 between the former Jamieson Insurance building and the Mad River Valley Real Estate building. From there it runs along Dugway Road to a bank at the southern end of the Blue Stone parking lot. The crosswalk will cross the Blue Stone parking lot and run along the Route 100 right of way to somewhere near Addison West and the private residence adjacent to it on the south side.
At a July 25 meeting, the select board discussed plans for the town to submit a Section 1111 permit seeking approval for the southern crosswalk, although the board was urged by Mad River Path executive director Ross Saxton and Mad River Valley Recreation District executive director Laura Arnesen to seek approval for both crosswalks.
Board member Chach Curtis asked if the Section 1111 application could be specific to just the southern crosswalk.
“Yes, because if they say no, that tells us whether we should be spending time on this project and if they say yes, it gives us a sense that we can at least move forward and they might define some parameters for us. If we don’t know for sure whether we can get this permit for this crosswalk, why spend all this time figuring out the northern crosswalk,” board chair Christine Sullivan said.
Board member Jordan Gonda asked whether a yes from VTrans on the southern crosswalk would require multiple Section 1111 applications and Sullivan deferred to Saxton to respond.
“Once we get feedback on initial preliminary Section 1111 on whatever components that we want feedback on for this first round, later when we make final Section 1111 application it would all be under one application,” Saxton said noting that the path association and rec hub partners recommended submitting the initial Section 1111 application for both crosswalks.
Sullivan said it was her preference to proceed with the southern crosswalk because that is what Dell’Isola worked on. Shupe made a motion to direct Dell’Isola to move ahead with submitting a Section 1111 application for the southern crosswalk which passed unanimously.