Frequently Asked Questions
When will the existing bridge be demolished and replaced with a new one?
In 2018. Beginning in spring 2018, the existing bridge will be demolished, new bridge piers will be installed into the river bed, precast caps placed on the piers, steel beams set in place, and pre-cast decking installed. Most of this work will take place during the day. Travelers will use a temporary bridge while this work is being done.
What are the plans for the temporary bridge?
In 2017 a temporary bridge was set in place upstream of the current bridge and temporary detour approach roads were constructed but will not be put into use until the 2018 construction season. The temporary bridge will be removed in December 2018/January 2019.
Will Route14 need to be closed during construction?
During construction in 2018, the temporary bridge may need to be closed intermittently for up to 14 days and nights to accommodate cranes installing some of the bigger pieces of the new bridge. The exact schedule is yet to be determined.
How will we know when the Route 14 bridge will be closed?
Closure periods will be determined as needed by the contractor and will depend on the construction methods used by the contractor as well as the progress of construction. Weather, delivery of materials, availability of equipment and labor influence a project’s schedule. We do not anticipate any closure until 2018. VTrans will use many communication tools to notify the public in advance of any closure.
This is supposed to be a bridge project, why is there so much work being done on Route 2?
When the VT 14 bridge was built in 1936, there was a lot less traffic on US 2. Today 15,000 cars travel Route 2 daily. To accommodate current and projected traffic, US 2 will be widened to create a turning lane onto the bridge in both directions and a third lane will be added to the bridge for vehicles that make a left turn onto Route 2 towards Montpelier. The widening of Route 2 required moving utilities, new drainage pipes and culvert and a retaining wall. About 900 feet of Route 2 will undergo a full-depth reconstruction. The contractor will excavate to a depth of five feet, remove the concrete slab underlying the state road, backfill, pave, and stripe the road. New sidewalk, crosswalks and a traffic signal will be installed.
When will most of the Route 2 work be done?
The major re-construction work on Route 2 will take place in 2017. Some prep work may start before July 1, but most of the activity will begin around August 1 and be completed no later than mid-December. To minimize traffic impacts, the bulk of this work will occur from about 6 PM to-6 AM Daytime crews will not interfere with travel lanes during the peak times of 7-9 AM and 3-6 PM, Monday - Friday. Most of the day work will be preparing and moving materials to make sure the night shifts can work as efficiently as possible.
Route 2 was widened to add an extra lane near the bridge. Why was the pavement striped for 2-lanes rather 3-lanes as this would improve traffic flow, especially when there is a lot of traffic?
The roadway was striped for two-lane traffic for safety. When there is a row of traffic backed up on the hill leading to E Montpelier Village, vehicles turning south onto US 2 from VT 14 would not be able to see vehicles freely flowing on Route 2 through the intersection, potentially resulting in a collision.
What steps will you take to minimize the night noise and construction lights when Route 2 is reconstructed?
VTrans will require contractors to use best practices including muffling the sounds of the back-up beepers, adding bumpers to tailgates, and using engines that meet current noise standards. To the extent possible, lights will aim at the work zone and not in windows. The lights will be powered by diesel generators which will have noise skirts. We know that night work will be annoying to nearby residents. But, given what we learned about this site in 2016, we feel it is the option with the least impact for the most people. Also, we will do our best to schedule the noisiest activities take place during the day.
Why is a new signal included as part of this project?
A traffic signal will be installed to help vehicles that need to make left turns onto the Route 14 bridge or onto Route 2. During peak hours when traffic is heavy, it is very difficult for turning vehicles to find an opening. VTrans will monitor traffic at the intersection after the signal is installed to evaluate how it is working. Once the project has ended and conditions are assessed, the signal may be put into the flashing mode during non-peak hours if the full signal cycle – red, yellow and green – is not needed.
Will the project by completed by the end of 2018?
Not completely. In April through June of 2019 the contractor will add a final layer of paving, sidewalks, crosswalks, and landscaping. In addition, a sand filter will be installed to clean up stormwater runoff into the river and a short stretch of Route 14 south of the bridge will be restored. Traffic impacts in 2019 will be very minor.
How can you be sure the anticipated project schedule will be met?
VTrans has had over 30 projects in in its accelerated bridge program and it has always beat or come in on time delivering projects. Contractors are given incentives to complete a job ahead of schedule and financial penalties if they are late.
Does VTrans understand the concerns of local businesses and the impact this project may have on them?
In response to a variety of concerns expressed by local businesses, VTrans made door-to-door visits and telephoned nearly 30 businesses located on the VT 14 corridor and on US 2 in East Montpelier village. Those conversations helped the Agency create a profile of the location, owner/manager contact info, type of business, typical customer base, the critical hours and needs for each business. This information was used to plan the project schedule to minimize the impacts on the owners, employees and customers. By limiting closure of the VT 14 bridge to a maximum of 14 days and concentrating re-construction of US 2 during night time hours when most businesses are closed, impacts to local businesses will be minimized.
How will the school buses get students to school if the bridge is closed?
The Agency will coordinate closely with the school district throughout the project. The Washington Central Supervisory Union Transportation Coordinator will be notified in advance and the district’s bus company who will contact families should construction affect school bus routes.
How will the E. Montpelier Emergency Services (EMES) be affected if the bridge is closed?
VTrans has met with several officials from EMES who said they learned during the Route 14 washout closure the best ways to operate under these circumstances. They recommend 24-hour staffing (usually 16 hours are covered) to assure personnel is at the station and ready to respond to any emergency. In addition, EMES personnel will be in contact with traffic control staff monitoring traffic on US 2 to make sure a lane is open for emergency vehicles on call.
Will the bridge serve us for the long-term?
The bridge will have low maintenance materials to avoid having to do any major work on it for a long time. Its size will be sufficient according to 40-year traffic projections.
How will VTrans communicate about this project?
Information about the project will be publicized in the Front Porch Forum, the Times-Argus newspaper, WDEV radio, the World, temporary digital road signs, and by email to everyone who signs up for the project mailing list. You can add your name to the list by calling or sending an email to Jill Barrett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Project Coordinator, 802-272-1248.