First Part of $11M Bridge Rehab Project Complete

Official say new technology is helping to keep the project moving along smoothly.

📅   Wed July 29, 2015 - Northeast Edition
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Vermont Agency of Transportation photo. Crews remove the bridge deck.
Vermont Agency of Transportation photo. Crews remove the bridge deck.
Vermont Agency of Transportation photo. Crews remove the bridge deck. Vermont Agency of Transportation.
The first part of the Waterbury construction project on Interstate 89 is complete.

The first part of the Waterbury construction project on Interstate 89 is complete. Official say new technology is helping to keep the project moving along smoothly.

“This is a big project for us,” said Chris Cole, VTrans deputy secretary.

Some might describe the 11 million dollar rehabilitation of three bridges on Interstate 89 in Waterbury as a massive project.

“Just another one of those deficient bridges in Vermont that needed to be fixed, very poor condition most of these bridges,” said Tom Mancini, project engineer.

Construction began earlier this year. The first part of the project — the South bound bridge — was finished earlier this week.

“This is a complex project cause this is one of the most congested corridors on the Interstate,” said Cole

Congestion that some residents like Gale Towne thought was going to get even worse because of the construction. Especially because a downtown round-about project was going on at the same time.

“I thought it was going to be a nightmare between three and six to tell ya the truth,” said Towne.

The roundabout is now complete and Towne said he’s been pleasantly surprised.

“It’s gone amazingly smooth to tell you the truth even from three to six when the traffic is blocked off there it’s gone quite nicely,” said Towne.

So how did VTrans ensure traffic flowed smoothly throughout the project? Cole said new technology is playing a huge role.

We’re also using a smart work zone which uses bluetooth signals to gauge how fast traffic is moving through the work zone so we can alert drivers ahead of the work zone with message boards of how long the wait is getting through there.” said Cole.

It’s the first time the smart work zone has been used in Vermont.

“From our perspective, traffic has been flowing really well,” said Cole.

“Couldn’t have gone much better,” said Towne.

The South bound bridge that is now complete was actually finished a week ahead of schedule, the North bound bridge is set to be complete in October, the final part of the project, the North bound off ramp should be complete next year.