The Vermont Agency of Transportation has issued a Press Release with details on repairs to the Colchester Causeway. VTrans plans to begin work soon in anticipation of reopening the Causeway by early July.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Wayne Symonds, VTrans Chief Engineer, Email Wayne Symonds, 802-279-8745
Causeway and Allen Point repair efforts underway with intent to reopen in July
June 5, 2018 / Montpelier, Vt. – A joint effort between the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), the Town of Colchester, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is underway to repair the Colchester Causeway Path and Allen Point Access Area, following storm damage that occurred in May and required a portion of the major recreation and tourist site to be closed due to safety concerns.
Residents and tourists alike utilize the Causeway year-round to walk, bike, and fish, but use of the iconic destination peaks during the summer months when the Local Motion Causeway Ferry is operational. On the busiest of summer days, upwards of 900 bicyclists and pedestrians visit the popular path. Due to the statewide economic and recreational impact of the path, VTrans Secretary Joe Flynn has expedited repairs, with the hope to reopen the path in early July.
“Getting the causeway open in time for the summer biking season is important for the community and our tourism sector, so I greatly appreciate the work of our state and local officials to move the project forward quickly,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I was pleased to meet with the team working on this project last week, and I look forward to seeing the causeway reopen this summer, as Vermonters and tourists alike look to take advantage of this great outdoor recreation area.”
“The Causeway provides an important recreation and transportation link for Vermonters, in addition to bringing visitors that contribute to our economy. VTrans is working closely with the Town of Colchester and Fish and Wildlife to expedite repairs,” said Secretary Flynn. “With the short notice on this project, we are putting the call out to the contracting community, who we know is already busy improving our infrastructure throughout the state during our short construction season.”
Colchester Town Manager Aaron Frank stated that, “The Causeway, jutting out into the middle of the State’s great Lake Champlain for three miles, is an asset to the Town of Colchester, the region, and the State. The Causeway’s beauty also makes it vulnerable. The Town appreciates the partnership that originally re-purposed the area for fishing, walking, and cycling, and which remains in place for these significant repairs.”
“Local Motion is grateful for the dedication and the hard work by Colchester officials and state agencies to elevate the importance of this public asset and to allocate the resources necessary to fix it quickly. This shows a genuine commitment to not just the biking and walking public, but to the importance of outdoor recreation to our local and state economies,” stated Karen Yacos, Local Motion Executive Director.
VTrans, Fish and Wildlife, and the Town of Colchester are working together closely and have had engineers survey the damage using global positioning systems, which will aid in the development of initial project plans and in identifying a staging area for materials and equipment, which presents a unique challenge for this former rail line into Lake Champlain. VTrans plans to release a Request for Proposals to construction companies in early June and anticipates construction will begin shortly thereafter.
Officials warn that the upcoming construction activities will impact access to the path for pedestrians, bicyclists, and anglers. While upcoming construction will focus on repairing the path for safe recreation, additional improvements to make the Causeway more resistant to future storms may be programmed in the future. For additional information and ongoing updates on the Colchester Causeway Path, visit http://colchestervt.gov/2971/Colchester-Causeway-Path.