LUDLOW, Vt. – In a joint effort between the towns of Ludlow and Cavendish, a significant connecting thoroughfare may soon be upgraded.
Three roads are in the process of being reclassified from Class III to Class II: Commonwealth Avenue, Barker Road and Quent Phelan Road.
These roads are known to many of the two town’s locals as the way to go to avoid traffic during the height of the busy season. As a connecting corridor they link Vermont Route 103 in Ludlow with the Class II road Twenty Mile Stream in Cavendish.
This route opens up the options for reaching the far ends of the two towns, and would become an alternate route in the event that an emergency caused blockage of Route 103.
More than just a back route from the office to the home, this corridor also holds a major component of local infrastructure.
The Coolidge Power Substation is located directly on the crossroads of Barker Road and Quent Phelan Road. This substation has already seen many upgrades and is expected to receive several more as alternative energy projects pour in to fill the void left behind from the closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.
Among these projects are a proposed 89-acre solar farm, the largest installation in the state, developed by Ranger Solar, which is expected to generate 20 megawatts of electricity.
There will also be the 6-inch hydroelectric power line, which was proposed last year, to bring electricity from a hydroelectric facility in Canada under Lake Champlain, through a portion of Ludlow, and ultimately terminating at the Coolidge Substation.
Both of these projects bring along the need for their own buildings and ease of access, especially during an emergency.
The reclassification of these roadways will have little noticeable effect on the general public. There is some basic redrawing of maps and slight reworking of the words in each of the town’s annual highway inventories.
The upgrading in classification of these roadways will increase the availability for financial aid and paving grants from the state.
As simple as it may seem to finalize this bit of bureaucracy, it is a little more complex. In order for either of these towns to have chance for a successful application, both towns have to apply. There is a public hearing processes involved. There is a timeline for the calendar year, in which these applications and reviews must be submitted to the Vermont Agency of Transportation mapping unit by Dec. 1 or risk having to wait an additional year before the approval process.
Both towns are working closely with the Regional Planning Commission, and communicating with one another, which is helping to make sure all of the paperwork is covered.
In a recent Town of Cavendish Selectboard meeting, a motion was approved to submit the application and hold a public hearing.