Digging trenches

Utility trenches dug in Stowe village caused major problems when heavy rain turned them into hazards. On-street work will halt for the holiday weekend.

A series of utility trenches dug across several streets in Stowe village caused a bit of a traffic snafu last week.

Many of the trenches were dug early last week on Maple and Main streets, Mountain Road and on several side streets as part of the prep work to bury utility lines in Stowe village next year.

Several of the trenches were left open for at least a night, and a severe rainstorm on Tuesday night, Oct. 1 into Wednesday morning, destroyed most of the efforts made by construction crews to make the trenches passable for drivers.

“Initially, they put in cold patch, temporary pavement, to ease the transition into and out of the trenches,” said Abby Earle, one of the town’s point persons for the project. Heavy rain overnight washed out much of that cold patch, and the dirt under it, turning the trenches into mighty bumpy rides for large vehicles, and tire-eating canyons for others.

“We appreciate your patience with the traffic detours and delays that occurred throughout the week and the challenges associated with the deteriorated conditions that occurred after the rain on Tuesday night,” Earle said in a press release issued last Friday.

“It made them messier than the intention had been,” Earle said Tuesday, and the town staff received multiple calls about the trenches. “I think the low-profile cars really struggled.”

Repairs were made as needed to the trenches, and later in the week they were paved over permanently, even as more trenches were being dug elsewhere in the village.

This week, workers began installing curb along the remainder of Maple Street north toward Morrisville and on Mountain Road, which was sporadically reduced to one lane of traffic.

Beginning today, Oct. 10, crews were scheduled to pave along the new curb on Maple Street, to lay a final top layer of pavement on the sidewalk there, and to pave driveway aprons.

During that work today, southbound traffic was scheduled to be detoured onto West Hill Road, Mayo Farm Road, Weeks Hill Road and Mountain Road.

Crews aim to work on projects that aren’t on Stowe’s streets on Friday, the start of a heavy-traffic holiday weekend. No work on any village streets was planned for Indigenous Peoples Day, either.

Sidewalk work is still underway in parts of the village. The School Street sidewalk has been closed all week while stone work takes place, and crews have torn up the old sidewalk on Depot Street between Copley Woodlands and the Green Mountain Inn condominiums; that sidewalk will be repaved by the end of the month.

For more information, Abby Earle at 253-7350 or aearle@stowevt.gov.

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