45.3 Miles of Roads and Bridges To Be Repaired This Summer
Road crews and builders are gearing up for a busy construction season across all three branches of the White River Valley as they prepare to resurface more than 45 miles of state highway, according to data from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).
With a year-end budget of more than $35 million, road crews will soon be reducing a number of area roads to single-lane travel near the towns of Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield, Roxbury, Rochester, Hancock, Northfield, and Williamstown (see map for details).
All told, this season’s road and bridge work carries an average cost of nearly $780,000 per mile, according to documents from VTrans. No significant traffic delays are expected but drivers are asked to be patient.
The costliest of these repairs and rehabilitations stem from damage to Vermont Routes 73 in Rochester and 12A in Roxbury by Tropical Storm Irene in the summer of 2011. This season’s improvements mark the final stretch of repairs following damage resulting from insufficient culverts and extensive flooding of nearby rivers and streams.
In Rochester, workers will be reclaiming segments of the existing highway and adding improvements to the guardrails and drainage systems of 8.7 miles of Route 73, extending from the Goshen town line to Route 100.
At a 9.6 mile-long stretch of Route 12A in Roxbury, workers will be leveling the road’s surface with recycled pavement and put- ting in fresh road markings as well as improving the route’s railroad crossings.
The most heavily traveled construction zone will be two sections of Route 12. One section stretches 5.2 miles north from Randolph to the Braintree-Brookfield town line. Another, shorter section of Route 12 will also be repaved along a 3.3 mile stretch, beginning near Steele Hill Road in East Roxbury and running northward to the intersection with Route 64 in Northfield.
Another stretch of Route 64 will be resurfaced along a 6.7-mile segment between Route 12 in Northfield and Route 14 in Williamstown.
Work on Route 65 in Brookfield, the last-remaining state highway that includes unpaved sections, will conclude in August as the road receives 5.2 miles of bituminous concrete resurfacing along with a guardrail, pavement markings, and drainage improvements between Route 12 and Route 14.
Over in Hancock, workers will be resurfacing a 6.5-mile section of Route 125 between Route 100 and the Ripton town line. Workers will also replace a culvert about 4.9 miles east of the Ripton town line, according to data from VTrans.
Additionally, work crews will replace three area bridges that span two sections of the First Branch of the White River in Chelsea and the Ompompanoosuc River in Stafford, respectively.
Each of the bridges is overdue for repair to their roadbeds, railings, sidewalks, and substructures. Built roughly 80 years ago, the two Chelsea bridges will be closed or restricted through much of July as crews work to update the “structurally deficient” spans with precast concrete substructures. Using “Accelerated Bridge Construction” (ABC) methods, which use short road closures rather than building temporary structures, each bridge is expected to cost $2.5 million.
A pre-order meeting to discuss the details of the traffic patterns, including detour routes, will be held at Chelsea Town Hall on May 16 at 5:30 p.m.
Bridge 29 in Strafford will also be updated using ABC methods and is expected to be closed July 24 to August 20, while workers update the substructure and widen the travel lanes in order to meet state safety standards, a relative bargain at $1.34 million. Each of the new ABC bridges is expected to last approximately 40 years.
(This first appeared in the Herald of Randolph May 11, 2017)