Home News and Features Sponsored Content A Message from City Hall: Summer Activities

A Message from City Hall: Summer Activities

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Photo of city hall.
Montpelier City Hall. File photo.
Summer is in full swing including a stretch of unusually hot days. The Mountaineers are playing well, summer camps are packed, the pool is busy, vacations are happening. Although the city council reduces the meeting schedule in the summer, this is still a busy time for the city government.

Vote

The state primary elections are on August 9. Early voting is in full swing now. Please make your voice heard as candidates are selected to appear on the final general election ballot in November. There are an unusually high number of open positions being contested. In just Montpelier both of our state representative seats are vacant. One of our state senators has opted not to seek re-election as well. There are also vacancies for many key statewide positions, too, including U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, and Secretary of State. 

Main Street Sidewalk and Paving

Construction of the Main Street sidewalk began this week with the total anticipated construction duration being three weeks. The work is being constructed by DPW crews in collaboration with a private concrete contractor.

The prime contractor and subcontractors for the paving and construction have been selected. The tentative schedule to begin the first phase of the cold in-place asphalt recycling is the second week of August 2022, while preliminary work, including the lowering of utility structures, will be performed in the next few weeks. The goal is to complete paving on a Saturday, before or after Labor Day.

What is Cold In-Place Asphalt Recycling?

Cold in-place asphalt recycling is a more sustainable way to repave roads by recycling existing asphalt. The process utilizes a sequence of machines called a “train,” where asphalt is milled off the existing road and processed into reusable asphalt that is re-layed. A benefit of cold in-place recycling is the reduction of material waste volumes to be trucked off-site to make new pavement. 

Main Street and Barre Street Intersection

In March 2022, Montpelier residents approved funds for the Main and Barre streets intersection project, for which planning is underway. The Department of Public Works is continuing through the design process as if this were a standalone project with a 2023 construction goal. Ideally, this project, the Barre Street path extension, and the Main Street railroad crossing will be constructed together. Due to incompatible schedules, the merging of these projects is not feasible. The railroad project is a state project and is scheduled for construction in 2024. The bike path project is delayed due to additional federal and state permitting, funding, and review processes; the estimated schedule is not known at this time. 

By not combining the projects, a significant conflict may occur during the rail project. The proposed project includes a new warning system and safety equipment which needs to communicate with the new traffic signal. This requires the design of the traffic signal for the warning system to be constructed.

Paving Projects

The Department of Public Works has several paving projects planned for September (although not guaranteed) on the following roads:

  • Roberts Street
  • Phelps Street
  • Pleasant View Street
  • Valerie Avenue
  • Blodgett Avenue
Fog Seal Treatments

The Department of Public Works will be applying fog seal to the following roads:

  • College Street
  • Barre Street between Granite Street and Pioneer Bridge
  • Liberty Street from Main Street to Heaton Street
  • National Life Drive
Fog seal is a spray used to rejuvenate asphalt on recently paved roads to extend longevity. During the application of fog seal, temporary loss of painted road markings takes place. Public Works will repaint road markings after all paving projects are completed in that area. 

Crack Sealing

The Department of Public Works will crack seal sections of pavement concurrently with the fog seal process., Combining the two processes has been shown to extend the life lifespan of the road. 

East State Street 

Contract no. 1 of the East Street project includes the disconnection of the existing storm sewer system from the existing sanitary sewer system, also known as a combined sewer overflow (CSO) connection. The design includes a new outfall constructed through the Rialto bridge abutment. This concept and other construction details are under review by the state of Vermont Water Investment Division. The city has received confirmation from the state that the project will be funded using Clean Water State ARPA dollars.

Hubbard Park Road Grading

In the fall of 2021, DPW completed stormwater work for this project. Public Works is planning to finish grading and complete the project by the end of August this year.

Phelps Street

The storm drain replacement on Phelps Street is 90% complete. The project is scheduled to wrap up in one to two weeks.

Stormwater Utility 

A stormwater utility is a dedicated funding mechanism to pay for a community’s stormwater management program. The revenue generated for the utility’s fee supports stormwater-related services and improvements. The city council identified this in the FY23 strategic plan. The city council approved awarding the contract to Brown and Caldwell, which will develop the Montpelier stormwater utility. Partial funding through the state is allowing the project to move forward quickly. The city’s goal is to complete the project by July 1, 2023. There will be opportunities for staff to report back to the council on the status as well as for the public to be involved. 

State Street Combined Sewer Overflow

The State Street Combined Sewer Overflow project has been reviewed in-house by DPW engineering staff and has been submitted to the state for review. Public Works anticipates advertising bids for construction for this project in August of this year. Public Works has prioritized construction for this fall, but supply chain issues may impact the timeline of completion. 

Vactor Dump Station

Penta Corporation and DPW will be building a wastewater dumping station at the water resource recovery facility on Dog River Road. This station will be a cleaner and more efficient way to catch and filter wastewater collected from sewer cleaning as well as debris for street sweeping. The project is scheduled to begin in August of this year with concrete work to be performed by Engineers Construction Inc.

Brick Arch Replacement at the Gary Home

The Gary Home on Main Street is undergoing renovations to their facility that presented an opportunity for DPW to renovate the stormwater brick arch in conjunction with the private construction. The Gary Home project manager has communicated with DPW about the construction schedule with a meeting to be scheduled within the next couple weeks. 

Main Street Water Main Replacement

Public Works will be replacing a 450-foot section of water main from the intersection of Towne Hill Road and Main Street and to the intersection of Towne Hill Road and Easy Street. The water main will be upgraded from the current six-inch diameter pipe to the required 12-inch diameter pipe. Public Works anticipates construction on this project will begin in August of this year dependent on supply chain and contractor availability. 

Recreation Path ADA Upgrade

Public Works will be connecting the bike path from Main Street to Stone Cutters Way and installing ADA-detectable surfaces across the railway. Public Works will be coordinating with the state rail program to set a date for construction. 

Pioneer Street Rail Crossing

Sidewalk work is complete from Bridge Street to River Street. The remaining paving from Rail Street to River Street is set to be completed this week. 

Grout Road Bridge

The final design for the Grout Road Bridge project is underway and progressing well. Permits are being signed by the city and submitted to the state of Vermont and the Army Corps of Engineers for review. Public Works is hoping to bid the project out by late fall and anticipates starting construction by early spring 2023. This project is being funded through ARPA grants and a Class-2 Highway Structure grant.

In Memoriam

I’d like to note the passing of Warren Kitzmiller and Paul Giuliani. Both played important roles in our community and in our state. We were fortunate to have them among us.

Thank you for reading this article and for your interest in Montpelier city government. As always please contact me at 802-223-9502 or email wfraser@montpelier-vt.org with questions or comments.

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