Wind: 8 mph
Waitsfield has a critical and long overdue Bridge Street and covered bridge repair project slated for this summer.
The work is necessary to protect the covered bridge and to improve the infrastructure on Bridge Street as well as repave the street.
The work will likely require that Bridge Street and the covered bridge be closed for about a month. That will inconvenience people who live close by as well as those who use the covered bridge and East Warren Road to get from one place to another.
And it will be an inconvenience to those who work on Bridge Street and will have to get to their jobs via back doors and cross lots.
And the merchants on Bridge Street are rightfully concerned about the impact on their businesses during the busy summer and early foliage season.
But this work must be done. It is overdue and critical.
Here's hoping that the many creative minds on Bridge Street can come up with signage and plans so that visitors can still get into their businesses using the southern parking lot of Bridge Street Marketplace and signage to get people in the back, side and cargo doors.
As with many projects, this project is best done as quickly as is feasible to get it over with. When the intersection of Old County Road and Main Street is realigned this summer, that portion of the road is simply going to be closed versus open with one lane, so that the work can happen as fast as possible.
When the bridge on Route 100 between American Flatbread and The Elusive Moose is replaced in several years, VTrans is proposing completely closing that portion of Route 100 for two full weeks so that the project does not take as long as the replacement of the Kingsbury iron bridge.
There's good logic to getting these necessary infrastructure projects completed in as little time as possible. It is cheaper and safer to close a road than have flaggers manage traffic in a construction zone and it is better for the river to minimize the amount of time people and equipment are working in it.
Let's get it over with.