Westside officials mull over access projects
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | April 29,2013
WEST RUTLAND — A newly proposed project will grant access to West Rutland’s recreation area through Boardman Hill Road.
West Rutland Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette said the Select Board decided recently to move forward with a project to open an access to the town’s recreation area. The goal is to connect the recreation area to the nearby bike path and then to the West Rutland Creek Path.
She said a portion of the project is on state land and near the town’s protected water area and they are talking with state transportation and natural resource officials to move forward with the project this summer.
“We will make a case that there will be no parking there and it will keep traffic moving,” Goulette said. “We want to improve our recreation areas.”
The estimated cost is $43,000. The town manager said they do not have the money for it at the moment, so it might be an item on the budget next year.
The project is part of the town’s overall plan to improve access and opportunities at the recreation area.
A second project under consideration by town officials would improve access through the Fairview Avenue entrance.
“It’s an unsafe, very narrow turn with no separate pedestrian access,” Goulette said. “The improvements would ... add a sidewalk, widen the road and add a retaining wall with a guard rail possibly.”
The cost for this project is estimated to be $67,000.
“There is a lot of potential (at the recreation area) but if we don’t have good access, we don’t want to increase what we offer,” the town manager said.
Elsewhere in town, a summer project in the works is the expansion of High Street to alleviate traffic around the library and the high school. The road, which also comes out next to the West Rutland School, is one-way traffic going south off of Main Street.
The project will widen the road to two-way traffic and include a sidewalk so that exiting the school is easier.
An engineer with the project recently presented several designs that included expanding the existing road westerly or moving the road’s center-line to match that of Campbell Road across Main Street and widen it.
“It will still be exit only, but it will allow exiting from both directions,” Goulette said.
She said the Select Board has not fully discussed the options presented, though she hopes they will make a decision at its next meeting May 13. A cost estimate has not been determined yet.