Mount Snow pipeline construction coming in Wilmington

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WILMINGTON — Looking to get its new West Lake snowmaking system running by next winter, Mount Snow is getting ready to resume construction.

"We didn't get so far last year," said Brendan Ryan, project manager at Mount Snow. "We are very excited that we had our funding released in December and we've been rapidly planning."

The completion of construction related to the West Lake snowmaking pond was delayed pending the release of $52 million in EB-5 funding. The federal program, which offers visas and permanent residencies to foreign investors, is also being used to build a new base lodge at the resort's all terrain-park face known as Carinthia.

With the money now in hand and winter winding down, resort officials are getting back to work. In Wilmington on March 8, Ryan spoke with the Select Board about a new pipeline for the West Lake project.

The idea is to get digging on Coldbrook Road during a time that would allow crews to work the fastest, he said, with "the least amount of impact to both the road and residents, and the fire suppression system that's tied to this pipeline as possible."

The Wilmington project involves installing a pipeline where it didn't exist, Ryan said, whereas an existing pipeline had been replaced in Dover. Having learned lessons on traffic control, Mount Snow officials have requested the town of Wilmington close Coldbrook Road during daylight hours from April 17 to July 28. Residents will still be able to access their homes from one side or another at all times. One lane will be opened at night and the road will be open on weekends and holidays.

Several close calls were noted from Ryan's experience in Dover.

"It was eye-opening trying to flag the operation," he told the Wilmington board, recalling difficulties in directing traffic in 2014.

Ryan said three excavators were needed to hold the 24-inch pipe in a trench on one side of the road and a counterweight was situated within the other lane. Traffic would be stopped until the crew allowed cars to pass. In the process, some material would be dumped onto the road.

Two incidents saw drivers not obeying crew members, according to Ryan.

"We had several close calls and it was somewhat of a harrowing experience trying to maintain traffic as the excavators were swinging," Ryan said. "These large excavators have huge blind spots."

For the upcoming project, signs will be placed on both ends of the road. Those signs will be updated to tell drivers where work is going on.

Mount Snow has an agreement with the town of Wilmington to repair road damaged during the construction.

"We want to help," Ryan said. "Mount Snow wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't in Wilmington's pipeline."

Ryan plans to continue with an email system to notify affected parties about the work. That "seemed to work pretty well" in the past, he said.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.


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