Vermont's J.A. McDonald Crews Nears Halfway on Main Street

Thu December 19, 2019 - Northeast Edition #26
Ken Liebeskind -CEG Correspondent

The objective of the Main Street project, which has been in planning stages for 30 years, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, is to rebuild the roadway, improve safety and mobility and enhance the village core.
The objective of the Main Street project, which has been in planning stages for 30 years, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, is to rebuild the roadway, improve safety and mobility and enhance the village core.
The objective of the Main Street project, which has been in planning stages for 30 years, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, is to rebuild the roadway, improve safety and mobility and enhance the village core. J.A. McDonald of Lyndon Center, Vt., has completed about half of the reconstruction work on Main Street in Waterbury, a $21 million job that it started in April and is scheduled for completion in June 2021. The project runs along Main Street from the railroad bridge to the north to Demeritt Place to the south. J.A. McDonald won the job after submitting the low bid. The company’s bid of $21 million beat out bids of $23.5 million from Kubricky Construction and $24.5 million from Luck Brothers. Utility installation involves a repeating pattern of construction sequencing. When asked if there are any complications with the job, Eric Boyden, owner of J.A. McDonald, said, “When you’re dealing with underground utilities there are always things in the ground nobody knows about, but overall the job has proceeded very smoothly.”


J.A. McDonald of Lyndon Center, Vt., has completed about half of the reconstruction work on Main Street in Waterbury, a $21 million job that it started in April and is scheduled for completion in June 2021.

"It's a two-and-a-half season project, but it is our goal to be substantially complete in the winter of 2020," said Eric Boyden, owner of J.A. McDonald.

The project runs along Main Street from the railroad bridge to the north to Demeritt Place to the south.

The objective of the Main Street project, which has been in planning stages for 30 years, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, is to rebuild the roadway, improve safety and mobility and enhance the village core.

The project involves full-depth reconstruction of Main Street, including replacing all municipal water, sewer and storm drainage infrastructure and undergrounding all aerial utilities from Stowe Street to the State Office Complex. The project also includes new sidewalks, decorative streetlights, landscaping and streetscape amenities to enhance the appearance of Waterbury village.

Utility installation involves a repeating pattern of construction sequencing. At the north end, crews will install sewers. As sewer work advances to the south, crews at the north end will install power utility vaults above the sewer lines. As the work proceeds on the power utility vaults, installation of water lines will follow.

The job is separated into four 1,400-ft. segments of Main Street and J.A. McDonald has replaced the water, sewer and storm drains for segments 3 and 4 and paved sidewalks for these segments. It also has completed water and sewer replacement for segment 2 and is completing storm drains for segment 2 and installing a storm drainage sand filter for segment 1.

"Next year we'll complete underground utilities in Segments 1 and 2 and do full road construction for those segments," Boyden said.

The project involves digging up the street and replacing aging water and sewer lines, some of which are 100 years old. While the street is opened up, workers will bury the utility lines now strung along poles that line the street so much of the work is being done underground.

The job passes along 120 abutting property owners, which makes it large for the state of Vermont, according to Ken Upmal, project manager of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Boyden said the construction equipment on the job includes a fleet of Caterpillar 315 to 349 sized excavators, a 924 Caterpillar wheel loader, a John Deere 700K dozer and a fleet of dump trucks.

When asked if there are any complications with the job, Boyden said, "When you're dealing with underground utilities there are always things in the ground nobody knows about, but overall the job has proceeded very smoothly."

The job is a Federal Economic Growth Center project and the federal government will cover 95 percent of the cost, about $20 million. The state of Vermont will pay 3 percent, $630,000, and the town of Waterbury will pay $420,000.

J.A. McDonald won the job after submitting the low bid. The company's bid of $21 million beat out bids of $23.5 million from Kubricky Construction and $24.5 million from Luck Brothers. CEG