By Andrew Martin and Kayla Friedrich | News & Citizen
You can’t get there from here. Well, you can, but you need to know your way around.
A stranger trying to reach downtown Morrisville this summer might get a little frustrated, as two entrances to the village will be closed temporarily — and hopefully at different times.
State work planned at the intersection of old Route 100 and the Morrisville bypass will shut down the entrance of the old state road, which leads into the heart of Morrisville, for two weeks in August or September. The bypass will remain open.
In addition, part of Bridge Street closest to the bypass will be closed for two months, beginning later this month, for an extensive makeover.
That’s two main routes to downtown that will be out of commission at some point this summer, and officials hope the closings won’t overlap.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure both roads aren’t closed at the same time,” said Erin Perigo, project manager for the Vermont Agency of Transportation.
Indeed, Bridge Street is the planned detour while old Route 100 is closed.
“We will be coordinating to make sure it all goes smoothly,” Perigo said.
The state wants to improve safety at the intersection of the bypass and old Route 100. A traffic signal will be installed and lanes added for cars turning off the bypass. The approach of old Route 100 to the intersection will also be raised up to provide better sight lines.
Perigo expects early phases of construction to begin in July.
The work on old Route 100 should start in August or September. The road has to be reopen by the end of September, and the project area should be paved in early November.
“The whole project will be substantially complete by the end of the year,” she said. A few odd jobs could be finished in the spring of 2017. The project is estimated to cost $810,000.
A few squeaky wheels that can never seem to get enough grease are the deteriorating local state highways.
No matter how many state construction projects are taking place in Lamoille County, miles of roads need repaving.
That doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
Only one large paving project is planned for Lamoille County this season — a thin layer of new pavement along the 4.57-mile length of Route 100C from Johnson to North Hyde Park.
“It’s a preventive maintenance project,” said Michael Fowler, project manager for the agency of transportation. The thin layer of pavement is meant to help preserve roads still in good condition.
The resurfacing of Route 100C is part of a larger project that will apply the same treatment to 15 miles of Route 118 from Belvidere to Berkshire. The resurfacing of both roads should cost roughly $2.9 million.
The contractor for the paving job was scheduled to begin installing signs this week, and the entire project should be completed by mid-August.
A similar repaving process is planned on part of Route 12 in Worcester and Elmore beginning in September.
Scheduled for repaving next year is Route 100 between Waterbury and Stowe. The work was planned for this year, but was pushed back until other local projects are finished.
Drivers on Route 15, which has been scheduled for repaving for years, won’t be seeing new pavement any time soon. Plans to repave the road in sections from Cambridge to Wolcott have been repeatedly pushed back since 2014. The projects are still on the state’s list, but not in the budget for the next few years.
While paving work in Lamoille County may be scant in the next few years, plenty of bridge work is on the way.
A bridge on Route 108/Mountain Road in Stowe should be finished this year, about 1.5 miles up from Route 100. Construction began last year and a temporary bridge carried traffic over the West Branch of the Little River all winter. The new bridge should be completed by Sept. 23.
Three bridges will be installed next year on Route 100C in Johnson. Over six weeks next spring, two bridges over the Gihon River in East Johnson will be torn out, the road widened, and the bridges rebuilt. A third bridge will also be installed closer to North Hyde Park on Route 100C in the fall of 2017, shutting down the road for about a month.
However, Route 100C will be reopened temporarily so people can get to the annual Lamoille County Field Days.
The three bridge projects will cost roughly $3.2 million.
Work is also planned next year on Tenney Bridge on Route 15A in Morrisville. The existing temporary bridge over the Lamoille River will be replaced, and the entire roadway will be raised and shifted slightly downstream.
Work to realign and level the nearby intersection of Routes 15 and 15A will also be done at the same time.
Early work on the 15A project could begin in 2017 but the majority of the work will take place during the two following years.
“It should take two full construction seasons,” said Carolyn Carlson, project manager for the agency of transportation. The state is still acquiring all the rights needed to shift the road. The project is estimated to cost $7 million.