Lynn Monty, Editor in Chief

Photo submitted by Francine Perkins

The U.S. Route 7 reconstruction and roadway widening between the Charlotte and Ferrisburgh town line and East Thompson’s Point Road that started in 2016 is slated to wrap up next June. Work on this one-mile stretch also included drainage improvements and replacement of two aging culverts with new concrete box culverts. Two layers of new pavement were installed with a final layer planned for the end of 2017, VTRANS officials said.

Right now crews are working on the remaining two-mile stretch between East Thompson’s Point Road and Ferry Road. Similar to last year, reconstruction of the roadway will consist of removing the existing pavement, along with underlying select materials, and replacing it with new select materials and four layers of new pavement. Drainage improvements will also be made to this stretch of U.S. 7.

Earlier this spring, traffic was shifted to two-way traffic detours between State Park Road and the Wildwood West development. Crews then began reconstructing the section between State Park Road and the Charlotte Berry Farm, and this section is now ready for the base course of new pavement, officials at VTRANS said. Paving is scheduled for the week of June 12.

Reconstruction of U.S. 7 from the Charlotte Berry Farm to Wildwood West is currently underway. Crews are expecting this section to be reconstructed and ready for paving by mid-July.

One of the project highlights this year includes the installation of a new concrete box culvert that will serve as a recreational facility underpass near the Lower Old Town Trail, providing bicycle and pedestrian connectivity with Greenbush Road to the west. A section of the culvert has been installed in the newly reconstructed section, with the remaining section expected to be completed later this summer after traffic has been shifted back over to U.S. 7.

The two-way traffic detour for the final mile of the project between the Wildwood West development and just south of Ferry Road is constructed and scheduled for paving. Traffic will likely be shifted onto the traffic detour by the end of June, as construction operations move north to start reconstruction of this section.

Final paving is expected to occur over the entire three miles of the project in either late fall or early spring, with the project scheduled for completion in June 2018, VTRANS officials said.

The primary purpose of the project is to enhance safety and mobility along the Charlotte U.S. 7 corridor through expanding the existing two-foot shoulders to full eight-foot shoulders consistent with not only the U.S. 7 typical sections to the immediate north and south but also consistent with the majority of U.S. 7 between Burlington and Bennington, VTRANS officials said. This expanded shoulder, built to state and federal design standards, is expected to enhanced safety for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, as well as law enforcement. The project will also enhance safety through improved sight distance on two of the redesigned vertical curves along the corridor.