The Main Street temporary bridge in downtown was reopened on Aug. 7, by late afternoon/early evening. A new pedestrian bridge has been installed, allowing foot traffic to resume on Main Street. Main Street will be open to all travelers.
Merchants Row remains closed as the construction crew installs a temporary bridge over the railroad. Merchants Row re-opened to one-way vehicular traffic (in an easterly direction headed up the hill towards N. and S. Pleasant Street) in mid-August.
The temporary bridges, constructed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, will ensure the safety of travelers until a permanent bridge is built in 2018 through 2020.
A “Main Street Express” downtown shuttle service will take people around the Main Street construction zone. The 14-passenger shuttle will make a continuous loop downtown during its 10 hours of daily service. It will pick people up at town-owned parking lots at Memorial Sports Center/Town Pool parking lot on the east side of town, off Buttolph Drive and at Mill Street parking lot in Frog Hollow, on the west side of town near Storm Café.
To encourage ridership, the Middlebury Selectboard has allocated $750 in Middlebury Money gift certificates. Riders of the Main Street Express will have an opportunity to enter a weekly raffle. Each week, the Better Middlebury Partnership will select five riders who will win a $50 Middlebury Money gift certificate. Middlebury Money gift certificates can be redeemed at nearly 100 local businesses in Middlebury.
The shuttle service is a partnership of Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR), town of Middlebury, Better Middlebury Partnership (an advocacy group for the downtown Middlebury business community) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).
Throughout construction of the temporary bridges, detour routes have been clearly marked with signs for all travelers — motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Within downtown Middlebury an information kiosk, staffed with volunteers, has been set up to guide visitors on how to get around within the downtown.
VTrans has established a project website, vtrans.vermont.gov/projects/middlebury, to provide information about the project.
The town of Middlebury also has a community liaison, Jim Gish, who has a blog: middleburybridges.org. Jim will provide a detailed description of construction activities that will occur each day and if there will be any impact on your trip to Middlebury.