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Harmony Lot tunnel closed as Brooks House renovations begin

One of many construction projects around Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO—The first tangible sign that the Brooks House project is picking up speed came early Tuesday morning when the Harmony Lot underpass was closed to traffic.

The closure came at the request of Bread Loaf Construction of Middlebury, the primary contractor on the Brooks House project. The underpass is expected to remain closed for the duration of the year-long renovations.

Scaffolding at the rear of the building that had been up for more than a year has come down. Instead, according to project superintendent Joe Lattuca, the scaffolding will be going up in front of the building on Main and High streets.

Meeting with town officials in front of the Brooks House on Tuesday morning, Lattuca said the sidewalk in front of the building will be closed for several days until the scaffolding is installed and a pedestrian walkway is built.

The scaffolding is needed for crews to do exterior renovations, said Lattuca, and will be taken down by late November.

Meanwhile, Bread Loaf workers are doing interior demolition work and preparing for the first stage of the renovation work.

Mesabi LLC, the new owners of the historic building, say they hope to have the project finished by the fall of 2014. It was heavily damaged in an April 2011 fire.

DPW updates

The Brattleboro Department of Public Works will be busy on a couple of projects in the coming weeks.

According to DPW engineer Gary King, about half the existing sidewalk on Williams Street has been removed, and new gravel is being installed. Valley Concrete, a subcontractor for the concrete work, began installing forms and pouring concrete for the new sidewalk on Monday.

King said traffic will continue as alternating one way with a flagger during work hours.

Another ongoing job is a pavement reclamation project on Old Ferry Road and Marlboro Avenue. King said the pavement milling machine was damaged while working on another project, and requires many hours of repair.

As a result, King said, the tentative revised work schedule has Lane Construction on Old Ferry Road on Wednesday, Aug. 14, and Marlboro Avenue the following day.

Residents with questions on either project should call the Department of Public Works at 802-254-4255.

I-91 updates

The West River Bridge project on Interstate 91 in Brattleboro will result in travel restrictions over the next four weeks.

Single-lane closures on the Interstate 91 southbound bridge are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 19-22 for cold-planing and overlay work.

The West River Trail is closed through Aug. 13 for conduit installation. Closures may continue to occur through Aug. 16 as Green Mountain Power installs the underground conduit cable. The trail will be open for the weekend of Aug. 10-11.

No impacts are anticipated on the West River or Upper Dummerston Road for the remainder of August.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #215 (Wednesday, August 7, 2013).

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