Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another petition against closing Sand Hill

A non-digital, pen-and-paper petition against closing the Sand Hill bridge is available at the General Store.

Here's the text:

Petition to:


During construction of the
Sand Hill Bridge

We are concerned about the impacts of closing Vermont Route 125 (and detouring traffic over the Brandon Gap) during construction of the Sand Hill Bridge in East Middlebury.

We ask VTrans to consider the following impacts of any significant period of closure:

1) Emergency response (both Fire and Ambulance) times to Ripton would be increased considerably.
2) Something approaching 2,000 trips per day would be added to traffic on the Upper and Lower Plains Roads and the North Branch Road.
3) Businesses in Hancock, Goshen, Ripton and East Middlebury that that depend on Route 125 would be severely impacted.

Please make every effort to maintain this vital east-west transportation corridor
either through the installation of a temporary bridge or through phased

Links: to the online petition; to the latest meeting

(thanks to Willem Jewett!)


Anonymous said...

Installing a temporary bridge is not worthwhile:
1. The Lower Plains to Upper Plains Rd detour only adds 3.5 miles and adds a little over six minutes to commute.
2. By having MVA station an ambulance at the E. Middlebury fire station during the 4 month closure, response times will be cut by more than 6 minutes from the current downtown location.
3. Installing a temporary bridge will add 1 million to cost and one year to construction time. It will require many trees to be cut down and bridge abutments to be built on the downstream side of the bridge causing long term damage to the character of the gorge.
4. Due to the small construction area, traffic will be stopped and backed up during install of temp bridge and even after it is installed to bring materials and equipment in and out. Phased construction would be even worse. Many people will take the short 6 minute commute to avoid the construction anyway.
5. Building the temp bridge or phased construction will cause local residents to endure two years of construction and traffic delays and will discourage people from traveling to Ripton anyway.

Willem said...

Thank you to the over 250 folks who signed the old fashioned pen and ink petition at the Ripton store. I have forwarded all your names to Kristin Higgins (the VTrans engineer).

I have followed up with Ms. Higgins asking her to look at the following more closely:

1) Can Vtrans sign the Lower Plain-Upper Plains detour (because the consequences of big "VT Rt. 125 Closed" signs on Rt 7 and 100 are unacceptable)?;

2) Given the re-alignment of the replacement bridge with the existing bridge isn't there room (either downstream or upstream) for a temporary bridge?