WILMINGTON -- The closure of Route 100 Bridge 47 was rescheduled for a week later than originally planned.
The culvert, which is located on a section of Route 100 South between Wilmington and Jacksonville, will be closed to through traffic starting at 6 p.m. on July 18 until 6 a.m. on July 21.
"It's well past its life span and I think the state was worried about a complete collapse and the road above it," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "It's been a work in progress for at least 18 months."
Detour signs were posted in various spots near the culvert. Currently, tape covers the signs until the replacement project begins.
Traffic will be re-routed onto Route 9 and Route 8 for the duration of the project. The extra mileage is stated to be 21 miles.
Coming from the north side on Route 100 South, drivers are advised to turn right on Route 9 at its intersection with Route 100 and continue on Route 9 to Searsburg then take a left on Route 8 until it leads to Route 100. Drivers can then take a right to continue on Route 100 South and take a left on Route 100 North in Jacksonville to reach Route 112.
From the south side on Route 100 North, drivers are directed to turn left on Route 8 in Heartwellville and continue to Searsburg then take a right on Route 9. Drivers can turn left onto Route 100 North in Wilmington.
For local traffic, there will be no alternative detour. Only state routes are used for VTrans projects, AOT Project Outreach Manager Jacqueline Dagesse said.
The weekend was chosen by the contractor. The AOT stated that construction activities will take place before and after the closure in order to make sure the project gets completed on time.
The contract with M&M Construction Inc. and Miller Construction, Inc. has the project scheduled to be completed by Sept. 5. It will be overseen by Senior Accelerated Bridge Program Manager Kristin Higgins.
According to Murphy, the timeline allows crews to set up and have all the equipment ready for the work. After the road closure, the culvert should be ready for traffic or there will be substantial penalties, he said.
The Wilmington Selectboard approved a request to allow crews to use property at the bottom of Radar Road, near the site, which Murphy said would help to facilitate the whole project.
Dagesse told the Reformer the project is part of VTrans' Accelerated Bridge Program and will result in an improved hydraulic opening for the small unnamed brook that runs underneath the culvert.
"It really limits the impact to the public and reduces costs. There is a great reduction on the impact to environmental and cultural resources and there's a much smaller footprint using these methods," she said. "The majority of the work will happen during that bridge closure period then after, there will be some activities."
According to a project fact sheet issued by the AOT, the existing metal pipe arch culvert will be replaced with a new precast concrete box culvert that meets current design standards. The newer, wider culvert will replace one built in 1849. The replacement will be 11 inches shorter but more than 5 feet wider. The waterway area will be increased by 60 percent.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.