Vermont roads, bridges get biggest ever funding infusion

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/16/2014

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the largest transportation bill in Vermont’s history. The one-year, $685.7 million funding plan will benefit more than 800 projects that include road paving, bridge repair, and an alternate truck route.

The bill provides $115.7 million for interstates and state highways – a 7 percent increase from one year ago. The funding will be used to improve about 96 miles of interstate and 210 miles of state highway.

Another $140 million is earmarked for 80 bridges – up 6 percent from last year. Also, $50 million is designated for work related to repairs following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said the bill’s passage continues investments made to transportation in the past few years, which have improved performance in pavement quality and in the condition of structures.

“To continue these gains, this transportation bill will advance the repair or replacement of more than 100 bridges, perform preventive maintenance on dozens of structures, and improve more than 375 miles of pavement,” Searles said in prepared remarks.

Also included in the funding authorization is $8 million for a new Route 100 bridge to help commercial traffic get around downtown Morrisville. The alternate truck route in northern Vermont is a two-mile stretch of road that will connect to Route 15 in a new roundabout.

The project is estimated to be complete by this fall.

Another $108.7 million will be used for town highway programs. In addition, the budget funds about $32 million in public transit, $19 million for rail, and $8 million for bike and pedestrian route improvements.

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