Frequently Asked Questions

Logo for the Shelburne Street roundabout project in Burlington, VT

Please review the list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQs, please contact the project team.

How long will construction last?
Construction is slated to begin in late summer 2021 and will end no earlier than July 2023.  

Who is the contractor?
S.D. Ireland Brothers, Corp. of Williston, VT.

Why is this project necessary?
The purpose of this project is to improve the intersection of Shelburne Street (US Route 7), South Willard Street, Locust Street and Ledge Road in the South End of Burlington, Vermont, for all users.

The need for this project is evidenced by the number of vehicular collisions, a number of them resulting in severe injury, over the last quarter century. Additionally, excessive vehicular speeds, traffic queuing , overall high traffic volumes during peak commuting hours, and the difficulty in crossing the roadway by pedestrians and bicyclists.

A 2002 Shelburne Street Rotary Report identified that during peak hours, cars experience difficulty entering the roadway from both local side street (Locust Street and Ledge Road) as well as the more significant city streets (South Willard and South Union). The Report identified the need for the roadway redesign evidenced by:

  • Frequent traffic queuing, especially at South Willard Street causing delays.
  • Frequent interruptions in traffic flow.
  • Traffic that travels at inappropriately high speeds.
  • Poor access for pedestrians and bicyclists along the roadways and intersection.
  • Poor visual quality of the landscape and improvements at the intersection.

Since completion of the 2002 report, VTrans has identified the rotary as a high crash location. This required the purpose and need statement elevate the importance of addressing the specific deficiencies that caused this location to be designated a high crash location.

Why was a roundabout determined to be the best option?
The Roundabout design was selected because it is the best-engineered solution to manage continuous decreased vehicular speeds, offers up to a 35% crash reduction rate, and a 72% reduction in crash-related injuries provides pedestrians and bicyclists the shortest street crossings with the highest rate of visibility, can accommodate large trucks as necessary, and provides the opportunity for future expansion if needed. The new roundabout is also more environmentally friendly than a traditional signalized intersection by encouraging slower moving, and constant flowing traffic while adding modern stormwater treatment facilities.  Modern roundabouts can reduce vehicle delay by up to 75% over signalized intersections, keeping traffic moving freely and safely.  Finally, it provides the City of Burlington with a gateway that is aesthetically pleasing and attractive for all users.

Where will construction be happening?
The Shelburne Street Roundabout project is located at the intersection of US Route 7 (Shelburne Street, South Willard Street), ALT US Route 7 (Shelburne Street to South Union and St. Paul Streets), Locust Street and Ledge Road in the City of Burlington, VT. The  project limits extend from Shelburne Street at Adams Court to South Willard Street at Chittenden Drive and on Shelburne Street along ALT US Route 7 to Marion Street. Work will also be conducted on the following side streets: Gove Court, Locust Street and Ledge Road.

Where will the detour routes be located and when will the detours begin and end?
Please review the anticipated traffic impacts for each construction phase outlined on the Construction Phases page. These detours are potential routes for the contractor to utilize. The routes and durations can be altered by the contractor to fit the needs of the construction activities. Advance notice to the public regarding all detour routes and their durations will be disseminated at that time.

How will neighboring streets be affected by construction?
Currently, the project does not plan to restrict traffic from seeking alternate routes to avoid the work zone.  The project team does not have the ability to keep motorists familiar with the local roads from using them. However, the project team will not be encouraging people to seek neighborhood streets as an alternate route to their intended destination. Local law enforcement will be working to ensure that posted speed limits are monitored and enforced.

With advance notice, some local roads adjacent to the project may intermittently be restricted to one-way traffic either in or out of the intersection, depending on the construction phase.

Neighboring sidewalks will at times be affected as well. In each case, advance notice will be provided.

Will I still be able to park on the street?
Yes. The contractor will make every effort to keep as much open street parking as possible, particularly at night when many residents require access. Arrangements will be made by the City of Burlington for an alternate parking location should the need arise. Some on-street parking will be affected day to day over the course of construction, but efforts will be made to minimize the impact. When construction is complete, all on-street parking will be restored up to limits allowed.

I live along the construction route. Will access to driveways be provided at all times?
Access to residences and businesses will be maintained throughout the project. If the contractor anticipates accesses to be blocked, the contractor will visit residences and leave notices. All pre-planned access closures will be a short as possible.

Will there be night construction?
Project construction will generally be restricted to daylight hours. Nighttime work will not be allowed unless a specific activity is considered an emergency (i.e., utility service disruption, etc.) or if an activity would severely impact daytime traffic. Note that during the summertime, daylight can last into the 8 PM and 9 PM hours during the evenings, and depending on the construction activity, the contractor may choose to utilize these hours to expedite the construction schedule or to minimize work during peak traffic hours.

Will construction take place during the winter?
Large-scale winter work is not anticipated on this project, and any winter activities that do occur will be minimal. Note that utility relocations may still occur during the winter. Winter shut down for roadway work is from December 15 through April 15. 

How early in the day will construction start?
The contractor and construction team are cognizant that this is a residential neighborhood and will seek to minimize disturbances before 7 AM. While construction is permitted to begin as early as 6 AM, in most cases construction activity will begin 7 AM or later.  

Will there be weekend construction?
Construction will generally be restricted to weekdays. Saturday work may be permitted depending on the construction activity and circumstances, such as emergencies or work that was not able to be completed before nightfall on Friday evenings. Sunday work will be prohibited.

How will bicyclists and pedestrians navigate the roundabout?
The proposed roundabout and the streets approaching it will have sidewalks and shared-use paths dedicated to pedestiran and bicycle usage, to safely navigate the intersection. For pedestrians, the new roundabout provides shorter, more visible crosswalks. Additionally, signal beacons will be in place which pedestrians can activate, indicatating to cars entering and exiting the roundabout that pedestrians are at the crosswalk, with the right-of-way to cross.

Example of the push button-activated signals that will be installed as part of this project.

Example of the push button-activated signals that will be installed as part of this project.

A shared-use path will be available for pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists will have the option to navigate the roundabout like a motor vehicle or use the shared-use path if they do not feel comfortable riding in the roundabout. For more information on navigating the roundabout for pedestrians and bicyclists, please view this project video.

How will vehicle speed be controlled?
Speed limit signs will be posted, and enforcement will be the responsibility of local law enforcement. Splitter islands will be installed at all entry points of the roundabout. These islands help reduce the speed of vehicles entering the roundabout. By design, the roundabout will slow surrounding traffic, reduce the risk of accidents, and provide for a safer environment for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

What is the procedure for rock removal?
Due to the presence of ledge and bedrock, some blasting and hammering is anticipated. Since the project is near businesses and residences, the contractor will be reaching out to all buildings within 500 feet of the project limits to ensure their safety.

If you live within, on, or touching this circle, please provide your contact information to the project team.

This can be submitted directly on the project website, using this link. By sharing your information, the contractor will be able to conduct a pre-blasting and construction vibration survey. This process includes accessing your building, with permission, to survey the current building conditions, before blasting begins.  Please note that if you choose to share your information, it will only be visible to project team staff and will not be shared.

Residents are unlikely to feel or hear much of the rock removal from the project. If you do, it may sound like distant thunder, and you may feel a very faint rumble. Any blasting that occurs will be low vibration, protected by blast mats. Spotters will block off the blast area and keep all pedestrians and bicyclists safely away. Rolling roadblocks will be utilized as well to ensure the safety of passing vehicular traffic. There will be a public presentation on blasting closer to the construction date, and before any blasting occurs.

While much of the rock removal will take place throughout the first construction season, starting this summer, it should be expected that residents and commuters may experience limited periods of removal during the summer of 2022.

How will dust be mitigated?
Dust from construction activity is unavoidable. The contractor will be required to have materials such as water and calcium chloride available on site at all times to keep dust proliferation to a minimum.

Will construction impact access to utilities?
Yes.  There are 37,000 ft (~7 miles) of existing utility infrastructure in the project area. Construction will inevitably cause some interruptions to all utilities, including gas, water, sewer, storm, electric, telephone, telecom, fiber and cable TV.  Existing utility services will remain active throughout the project, but there may be minor shut-offs with advanced warning. In the case of planned outages, at least 48to 72-hours advance notice will be provided to those impacts. The project will coordinate with the City of Burlington and public utility services to ensure advance notice is provided, and interruptions are kept as short as possible. It is possible that emergency shut-offs will occur, due to unforeseen circumstances. In emergency instances those impacted will be notified as soon as possible and crews will work to restore access as quickly and safely as possible.

For private utilities, the utility companies will be responsible for notifying customers.

What will happen to existing trees in the project area?
Any trees that need to be removed will be replaced with new, young trees in keeping with the City of Burlington’s arbor plans. Additionally, the central island will create an opportunity for aesthetic landscaping treatments and serve as a city gateway.