by Andrew Martin
Work to the bridge on Route 108 and the future roundabout at the intersections of Routes 15 and 108 in Cambridge is coming along on schedule. St. Onge Inc., the contractor performing the bridge work for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), has placed the temporary bridge over the Lamoille River and the structure should be open well before the New Year. So, the temporary bridge is in place but some of the fill needed still remains to be brought in.
“Now that the temporary bridge is in place the contractor is working to finish bringing in fill before paving the new temporary roadway to the bridge,” stated VTrans Resident Engineer Greg Wilcox. He went on to explain that roughly 80 percent of the fill was necessary in order to place the foundations for the bridge. The remaining 20 percent will now be brought in and graded before a layer of gravel and then pavement is applied to create the temporary roadway.
“The temporary roadway and bridge will be operational once they are paved and properly marked and signed,” stated Wilcox, “We will then pick a day with good weather and switch traffic over onto the temporary roadway. Right now we are hoping to make the switch during the week of December 3, but ultimately that will depend on the weather.”
Wilcox also explained that as long as the weather remains mild, St. Onge Inc. plans to continue working even after the temporary bridge is open. The current plan is to attempt to remove the old bridge and piers and to possibly even begin work on the abutments for the new, permanent bridge if the weather allows.
“If the weather stayed this mild we could work all winter,” joked Wilcox, “But how much we accomplish before we shut down for the season really depends on the amount of snow we receive and how cold it gets.” The plans by VTrans had originally called for the temporary bridge to be completed and operational by late December, meaning that the project is currently on or even ahead of schedule.
Unlike the bridge, work to the roundabout portion of the VTrans project has mainly been completed for the current construction season. The only work remaining for the year will be the repainting of the lines at the intersection. That work will occur simultaneously with the line painting on the temporary roadway and bridge. Previous work to the roundabout earlier this fall included the installation of the necessary storm drainage and catch basins.
“Everything is going well and both portions of the project are on schedule,” concluded Wilcox.
Work is likely to resume at both sites in the early spring. VTrans has set a target date of April 1 for the restart of construction, but the actual start time will be contingent on the weather. The roundabout is scheduled to be operational by the late summer of 2013 while the bridge should be mainly completed by the fall of the same year, although small amounts of work on both projects could carry over into 2014.
COVER PHOTOS FROM THIS WEEK!!!