Route 131 construction is the focus of Cavendish meeting

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish Selectboard dealt largely with construction issues during their July 12 meeting, with the conditions of Route 131 during the ongoing paving project, as well as the fix to the sagging sewer line happening in Proctorsville.

Town Manager Brendan McNamara admitted that there has been a big concern over the last few weeks concerning the deteriorating road conditions of Route 131, especially in the Cavendish village. Ongoing rain over the dirt surface has caused substantial travel issues with numerous potholes and lanes of travel being impassable at some points. McNamara said he has been in constant contact with both Pike Industries and VTrans representatives over the issues, but weather has impacted Pike’s ability to grade the roads since they cannot grade mud.

McNamara stressed that residents should still feel free to express their concerns or report issues to the town office so they can continue to address issues with his project contacts.

Route 131 from Downers Four Corners to the Cavendish village has received one of their final layers of paving. The Cavendish village is still dirt and is dealing with the poor road conditions largely due to weather, although the village was identified as a no-vibe zone, which will restrict use of vibrating rollers in that area. The Proctorsville section of pavement is still intact but will be removed late July to early August. Because that section is a concrete road, Pike will not be using the same process, and this section has not been designated as a no-vibe zone. According to McNamara, due to the different surfaces and the depth of the road, there is no comparison to how the surfaces respond to the vibrating rollers and he doesn’t anticipate a problem.

Margo Caulfield cautioned Proctorville village residents to take photos before construction begins to protect themselves in case of damage.

McNamara said that he had noticed that some areas were seeing improved drainage. He also noted that visibility issues with the Whitesville Bridge will be improved with the new road and he was already seeing an improved sight line at that location.

The replacement of the sagging sewer line near the Proctorsville Green is underway. It has been dealing with a few issues particularly with the project creeping more into the travel lane of Route 131. Though initially thought it would impact the cost substantially, working with Pike and other engineers, McNamara believes they have resolved the issue and will be able to use gravel aggregate versus pouring concrete in the process of the project. McNamara said the project has a lot of moving parts but “I think we are headed in the right direction,” and hopes that will be wrapped up in the next few weeks.

In other news, the board approved the ARPA intention letter that will officially request Covid relief money from the state. How to spend the funds will be worked out in the coming weeks.

Board member Stephen Plunkard suggested the board revisit the town’s Junk Yard Ordinance citing a concern over several properties in town that have multiple cars as well as other junk in their yards. The board agreed to begin the process of reviewing the ordinance and then deciding how to specifically enforce it.

The next Cavendish Selectboard meeting is Monday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cavendish Town Office.

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