Western Avenue fix on the way; Brattleboro paving project will begin in August


BRATTLEBORO -- After what has been a very long wait for drivers who have to travel over Route 9 every day, the town is finally ready to begin paving the pot-holed roadway.

The Department of Public Works announced last week that crews would be out on Western Avenue during the third week of August, depending on the weather.

The planned work follows one of the worst winter's in memory in terms of road damage caused by repetitive freezing and thawing.

"It seems like we had a lot of freeze and thaw cycles this winter that definitely wreaked havoc on the roads," said Highway and Utility Superintendent Hannah O'Connell. "Our crews are going to do the prep work before the paving crew gets out there, and we're very happy to do it."

The town is planning to pave Western Avenue from Brattle Street near the I-91 exit to Edward Heights.

Crews are planning on doing their work at night, starting at 6 p.m. and expect to be on site for three nights.

O'Connell said weather can affect schedules for both the town and Lane Construction, the company which won the bid to do the work, and while the third week of August has been pegged as the starting time, the start date could change.

Brattleboro was included in a special provision in this year's transportation bill, and the town received $150,000 to do the emergency repair work to Western Avenue.

The state money will pay for all of the paving, while the town will be doing some prep and finish work on the road.

O'Connell explained that the new asphalt will be applied directly to the chewed up roadway as a temporary fix until the state does a more permanent resurfacing of Western Avenue in three years.

The asphalt will be applied only on the traveled portion of Western Avenue, from white line to white line.

O'Connell said a similar temporary asphalt application was done on Western Avenue about 10 years ago.

"It would be quite a substantial financial burden to do all of Western Avenue, but the state understood there was a need," O'Connell said. "Now we get to put some Super Glue down to fill in the pot holes until we can do the whole road. Hopefully this will buy us some time."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at hwtisman@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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