PUTNEY -- A portion of Hickory Ridge Road that has been eroding and causing numerous washouts is being stabilized this week thanks to a $9,369 Vermont Better Backroads Grant.
The grant, which is being matched with 20 percent, or $2,342, in town funds will take care of a problem section on the road. The total cost of the project is $11,712.
"This project will correct an erosion problem with the stream bank which has been a recurring problem over the last seven years," said Putney Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard. "This grant has made it possible to complete a project that was listed as a priority on the town's Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Putney Road crews have been out on Hickory Ridge Road this week taking care of the 175-foot-long road bank. The road has been closed during the day while crews work on the bank.
The crew members are armoring the road edge with two feet of rip rap all the way to the road surface. The project, Stoddard said, will prevent recurring washout and also allow less silt and gravel to wash into the stream.
Not only has the erosion been a challenge for the town, and for vehicles traveling on Hickory Ridge Road, but the recurring problem has been costing the town money too. The extreme erosion can occur two or three times a year, and some years crews have been out there patching it together four or five times. It costs about $3,000 every year to address the issue, and each fix is only temporary.
Stoddard said the town hopes the stabilization project will prevent further erosion and offer a long-term fix.
"The town of Putney is pleased to receive a Better Backroads Grant to complete this project on Hickory Ridge Road South," Stoddard said.
Funding for The Better Backroads Program is provided by the Agency of Transportation and the Agency of Natural Resources.
The program's goal is to promote the use of erosion control and maintenance techniques to save money and protect the state's lakes and streams.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.