Friday, May 30, 2014

Ripton versus climate change

The National Climate Assessment has appeared, and it has challenging news for Ripton.  Climate change is going to hit us hard, and is already hitting us.

According to the Addison Independent's summary, climate change impacts appear in a variety of ways:
The Northeast will be plagued by heat waves, heavy downpours and sea level rise. 
The changing climate will greatly affect the maple syrup, timber and seafood industries. 
States with aging infrastructures, like Vermont, will be further damaged by more frequent and more damaging floods 
Boreal forests will recede to higher elevations
Those of us who remember tropical storm Irene will find special meaning in this extra point:

The report also noted that states with populations centered along rivers and in flood plains are particularly vulnerable to increased precipitation.
“In mountainous regions, including much of West Virginia and large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, more intense precipitation events will mean greater flood risk, particularly in valleys, where people, infrastructure, and agriculture tend to be concentrated,” the report states. 

Ripton's own Bill McKibben appears in the article.
“It was one more rock on the pile; there has been a steady stream of giant reports dating back to 1995 and all have said about the same thing,” McKibben said. “This one just adds that climate change is no longer a future threat — since we haven’t done anything about it, it’s now a very real part of our life.”

Paving under way

The Sand Hill bridge and its approaches have been paved.
Sand Hill bridge, paved

Note the solid concrete railings on either side.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bridge paving

Construction crews are paving the new Sand Hill bridge this morning.
That seems to be a repaving, since one worker told me they paved yesterday as well.

No photos this time, as a swarm of trucks completely blocked my way in.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Health screen at a June recycling event

Here's a useful service next month:
The Open Door Clinic of Middlebury will be holding a free health screening event on Saturday, 21 June 2014 from 9 to noon at the town shed in conjunction with the regular recycling drop-off.
(thanks to Warren and Barry King)

More work on the bridge

More images from the Sand Hill project.  These were taken on May 16th.

First, filling in the lower ramp:

Note the elevation from the road just in front of the camera up to the bridge itself.  And compare with this image from a few days before.

Second, here comes a giant slab of concrete.  It was destined to be part of that ramp now being filled in.

The next week in bridge reconstruction

Here's the latest on the Sand Hill bridge:
Route 125
Project related truck activity will be heavy during day time hours, and limited during the night.

North Branch Road
Traffic on North Branch Road will remain open for one lane of traffic for the duration of the project. Unlimited access will be provided to Emergency Services as needed.
Middlebury River
Please be advised that VTrans is warning all recreational users of the Middlebury River to avoid the immediate vicinity of the bridge until further notice.

Friday (5/23):  Fine grading and paving operations on RT 125 and North Branch Road.  Expect minor delays.
Saturday (5/24) – Monday (5/26): There will be limited work activity on the bridge during the holiday weekend. Truck traffic will cease. Concrete sidewalks will be curing during this time.
Tuesday (5/27): The work platform under the bridge will be removed.
Thursday (5/29):  Decorative precast panels will be placed. 
 (thanks to Sally Hoyler)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The past week at Sand Hill

The bridge continues to grow before our eyes.  Over the past week we've seen the bridge connected to the road.

For instance, approaching Sand Hill from East Middlebury, we saw the road gently rise to the bridge's new elevation:
Click to enlarge.

The ramp needed to be built up gradually, and graded:

Seen from just up North Branch, the bridge now looks flat along the top:

What have you observed during the past week of bridge construction?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bird walk this Saturday

Celebrate spring and birds in town this Saturday:
Join us on a
At the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail
Saturday May 24th  7:30 – 9:30 AM
weather permitting* 
Sponsored by the Ripton Conservation Commission
Meet us at the parking area. Wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars if you have them. We’ll walk the trail and identify the species we find there.
Beginner to expert, everyone is welcome! 
*Call Warren and Barry King at 388-4082
or Rebecca Purdum at 388-9791

(thanks to Warren and Barry King)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The next few days of bridge work

Here's what's going on with the Sand Hill bridge construction work:
Thursday (5/15): Backfilling will continue on both sides of the bridge. There will be heavy truck traffic in and out of the project at this time. Backfilling will continue through the end of next week.
Friday (5/16): Precast approach slabs will be placed.
Monday (5/19): Slope stabilization, riprap placement, and seeding and mulching will begin and continue all week. The shaping of the road will also begin.
Tuesday (5/20): The sidewalk will be poured.
Wednesday (5/21): Mobilization of paving operations. 
More pictures coming.

(thanks to Sally Hoyler)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Over in Lincoln, the gap is open

The Lincoln Gap Road just opened for springtime.
According to a post on FrontPorchForum,
The Lincoln Gap Road is now officially re-opened for the (non-winter) season. The road crew plans to take down the "road closed" signs in the next day or two, but those of you chomping at the bits to use this route, may now do so. Keep in mind that this higher elevation travel route can be subject to extreme weather conditions, so use caution when traveling on this road. The steep inclines can get slippery with early morning frost or heavy rainfall. Also please be aware of hikers, bikers, and dogs on the narrow roadway, especially near the top.
(thanks to Sally Ober, Lincoln Town Clerk)

Working on Sand Hill

Here's a glimpse of several construction workers atop the Sand Hill bridge work:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The next week of bridge construction

The latest on bridge construction, from VTrans:
Monday (5/12): The sidewalk will be poured and the staging platform will be removed from under the arch.
Wednesday (5/14):  Precast approach slabs will be placed.
Thursday (5/15): A membrane will be applied to the bridge deck.
Seen today, building up the lower road:

And the endcap of the bridge:

Click on the images to get larger versions.

(thanks to Sally Hoyler)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

REAPing this Saturday

Please help us cut and store wood this Saturday morning.  The REAP initiative is hosting a May Bee on Saturday, May 10th, from 9 to noon at the town shed.

Residents can arrive when they can and leave when they need to. We'll be following up on the work done on 12 January in remarkably clement weather in an otherwise challenging winter. We hope to cut all the wood remaining at the town shed, split it, and truck it to the REAP woodshed for storage until needed by Ripton residents.

(thanks to Warren King for the information and photo)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sand Hill bridge, May 5

Every day the bridge progresses.
Here's the view from the northwest, up from 125 and the Waybury Inn:
Note the surface is now in place, spanning the central arch and both end pieces.

Here's from the other side of the bridge, shot from a few feet short of North Branch:

Speaking of endpieces, here's the view from one, looking straight along the bridge:

I suppose one of the next steps involves filling in the gap between that concrete surface and the road.

What fast work!  Keep going and good luck, team.

As before, click on any of these images to get bigger versions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The bridge takes shape

Here's what the new Sand Hill bridge looked like on May 2nd. For the first time you can see the arch over the river:

You can also see how the end pieces are coming along:

Click on any of these photos for bigger versions.

Sand Hill bridge construction, April 30th

Here's where things stood with the Sand Hill bridge reconstruction on April 30th.
Looking from the side, you can see the two end pieces in place, and work being done in between:

Here's what one of the end pieces looks like from the road:

Click on any of these photos for bigger versions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The next week of Sand Hill bridge work

Here's what's ahead for the bridge construction, according to VTrans:
Friday (5/2) – Saturday (5/3): NEXT beams will be set in place and grouted. Expect minor delays while beams are being brought on to the site.   
Monday (5/5) – Friday (5/9): Backfilling of the bridge will begin and continue for the week. Truck activity will be constant during this time period. Bridge deck and rail will be set in place as well. 
(thanks to Sally Hoyler)