What work will be done?
Improvements will be made to the bridge deck – wider shoulders and sidewalk, a safety barrier to prevent falls from the bridge, new pavement, curbing, and partial replacement of concrete. Worn sections (bridge joints, lattice, and gusset plates) of the steel arch will be reinforced or replaced. The arch will also be cleaned and painted.
What kind of safety barrier will be placed along the sidewalk?
VTrans installed a temporary fence in the summer of 2018. Design of a more permanent fence was developed in 2019. Maintaining views is an important consideration.
When will the bridge be rehabilitated?
Construction will begin in 2021 and will span two years. Activities will pause for part of each year to accommodate seasonal tourism and winter weather. The initial construction season will begin in the late winter or early spring of 2021, and conclude by September 23, 2021. The same cycle will occur in 2022.
How will traffic be affected during construction?
The Agency of Transportation (AOT) has decided that the project requires a continuous single lane of traffic for the duration of the construction season. This decision is different from what our team had originally planned and presented. As AOT has refined final details, it is clear that a single travel lane, controlled on either end of the bridge by a traffic signal, is essential to maintain adequate room for construction activities.
The change is necessary to complete the construction in two full seasons. One sidewalk on the bridge will be open at all times with designated crosswalks at each end for access to parking areas, shops, and the visitor center. This traffic management strategy also increases the safety of workers and travelers.
During some construction activity, trucks will likely be diverted to US Route 5 and VT Route 12. We do not expect any closure of Route 4.
It’s an old bridge. Doesn’t it make more sense to replace it?
No. The bridge is in overall good condition and, with rehabilitation, will serve travelers for many years. Also, the bridge style is unique in the state and is considered an historical resource that should be preserved.
Will the public have any input into this project?
Yes, through public meetings and by interacting with the project team. This website has a comment form people can use to ask questions, share opinions and concerns. Also, project staff can be reached by telephone at 802-230-7648.