September 27, 2007
MONTPELIER -- The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) on Oct. 1 will begin replacing a culvert beneath Interstate 89 between Exits 13 and 14. Construction will affect both the Interstate’s northbound and southbound lanes.
The culvert will be replaced in three sections in order to keep the Interstate open to two way traffic at all times.
Construction initially will take place off the travel surface as crews build temporary travel lanes so that traffic can be shifted when needed and mobility can be maintained whenever an Interstate segment must be closed. This work will involve a need to reduce travel lanes because crews at times must be in the roadway. Lane reductions, however, will take place only at night.
Four lanes of Interstate traffic – two southbound and two northbound – will be maintained between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Speed through the construction zone, however, will be reduced to 45 mph at all times. Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding through a work zone.
VTrans initially planned to replace the culvert in the spring, but the structure's failure recently began to accelerate. Inspectors in September determined that safety required immediate, emergency action to replace the culvert before winter.
VTrans Secretary Neale Lunderville, who last year introduced the Agency’s Road to Affordability program that emphasizes cost-effective preservation of the State’s transportation assets over costly replacement, said the need for the project is unfortunate but necessary as the culvert has deteriorated beyond the point of repair.
“This culvert is a prime example of why we must place a greater emphasis on preventative maintenance of our existing bridges and culverts,” Lunderville said. “If we could have repaired or rehabilitated this culvert a few years ago, it likely would have cost $200,000 to $300,000. Now, it will cost us more than $2 million to replace.”
Construction is expected to be completed by November 30. Night as well as day work will take place throughout, with lane reductions occurring most nights.
Although four travel lanes will be maintained during both the morning and afternoon peak travel periods, motorists are encouraged to plan for additional time as reduced speed zones can result in delay.
Motorists are also reminded to reduce distractions and put their cell phones away when traveling through a construction zone, and leave plenty of room between them and the vehicle in front of them.
Source: Agency of Transportation
Last Updated at: September 27, 2007 14:34:57