The Waitsfield Select Board approved a request from the Mad River Path to apply for a VTrans Section 1111 permit for a new crosswalk. That crosswalk will connect the Mad River Recreation Hub at the intersection of Routes 17 and 100, to Irasville and Waitsfield.
The new northern crosswalk will feed people from Fiddler’s Walk via Irasville Common across Route 100 into the Mad River Green Shops by Brother’s Building and along a new section of trail that connects to the Heart of the Valley trail.
A southern trail crossing at the edge of the rec hub, across Route 100 to Dugway Road near Mad River Valley Real Estate offices will bring people down to and along the Mad River and up the hill behind the Irasville Cemetery to access the Irasville Common portion of the trail.
Mad River Path executive director Misha Golfman and town administrator Annie Decker-Dell’Iosola explained the process and timing to the select board at this week’s November 13 board meeting.
Decker-Dell’Isola told the board that Golfman had worked with the private property owners along the route gaining permissions and offering work and other benefits of allowing access while she worked with VTrans on permit particulars.
Once VTrans approves the permit, she said, the Mad River Path will take on its share of the work while VTrans undertakes the Route 100 crosswalk. Golfman said that he had contractors lined up to do the work in the spring, leaving plenty of time this winter for VTrans to approve the project.
The southern trail crossing was approved in about a month for the path association Decker-Dell’Isola said. That crossing is considered a trail crossing because sight lines for traffic coming from the north are not long enough for it to be a crosswalk. That southern crossing will be marked and striped.
In response to board questions, Golfman explained that some changes were needed to the earlier planned alignment for the southern crossing, in particular a ramp to get from Mad River Valley Real Estate down to Route 100.
Board member Jordan Gonda queried Golfman about his interactions with property owners and he listed off each one that the Fiddler’s Walk impacts, his discussions with each one and concessions, work and promises that made the final route possible.
At that same meeting, the board also voted to support a scoping study and a $4,000 match for another path initiative, a multi-use path running alongside (for the most part) Route 100 from Warren to Moretown. This is a multi-year effort that begins with a scoping study and will be primarily funded with federal infrastructure dollars with local matches. Waitsfield’s approval for the scoping study a and $4,000 match are contingent on Warren and Moretown also participating.