Poultney walkway project to move forward
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | January 19,2013
POULTNEY — The quarter-million-dollar pedestrian enhancement project along the historic East Poultney green is moving forward after several years in the works.
Town Manager Jonas Rosenthal said Friday the town is finalizing a contract with Lamoureaux & Dickinson of Essex Junction for engineering services. The project will then move into the design phase so it can go out to bid early next year.
“We are hoping by February or March 2014 (to go out to bid),” Rosenthal said. “Construction would begin in summer of 2014.”
The project includes a new pedestrian sidewalk that will run from Route 140, down Bird Street, then to On the Green before connecting to Thrall Bridge. The sidewalk would be 4 to 5 feet wide with a 3-foot green strip.
Thrall Bridge will become a single lane with two pedestrian lanes with rubber bollards on each side. It will also include a flashing beacon and a stoplight on River Street.
The project is estimated to cost $276,000. To pay for the project, the town received a $230,000 transportation enhancement grant from the state Agency of Transportation last year.
Concerns for pedestrian safety on the bridge and near the East Poultney green pushed the town to pursue the project.
The town considered a similar project in the early 1990s for the historic 1929 bridge that included a footbridge crossing the Poultney River and a sidewalk on East Main Street. A revived effort by residents concerned with pedestrian safety began several years ago after a fatal hit-and-run.
“It will slow down traffic,” Rosenthal said of the new project.