Bennington Bypass Project on Schedule; Section to Open Soon

Fri July 18, 2008 - Northeast Edition

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) State officials say work on the northern section of the Bennington Bypass is on schedule and part of the highway project could be open to traffic a month early.

Vermont Agency of Transportation project manager James Harris said Exit 2 in the northbound lane of Route 7 is expected to reopen in August.

The exit was closed in January 2007 out of concern about a rocky ledge above the road.

It was expected to remain closed until September but crews appear to be ahead of schedule.

The entire project, scheduled to be completed in 2012, will connect U.S. Route 7 north of Bennington with Vermont Route 9 east of downtown Bennington.

The bypass is designed to keep large trucks out of downtown Bennington. It was first conceived in the 1950s, but construction on the first phase did not begin until 1999.