For people driving between Morrisville and Stowe, dodging the seemingly bottomless potholes on Route 100 is a part of everyday life.
But next week, construction crews will take the first steps toward a fix that will allow drivers to focus on the mountains and wildlife and, ummm … also the road.
On Monday, Pike Industries is expected to break ground on an $11.7 million project to resurface 7.5 miles of Route 100, beginning on the north end of Stowe and ending on the south end of Morristown.
As with nearly everything today, the project was affected the coronavirus outbreak, with road workers sidelined by Gov. Phil Scott’s order for nonessential workers to stay at home.
However, on April 22, Scott allowed construction crews — no more than two workers in any given location — to go back to work. This week, the crew was allowed to grow to five. Work is expected to begin with erosion-control efforts on the north end of the project.
The work comes after a two-year reconstruction of Route 100 between Stowe and Waterbury. But this project will be a little bit different. While the former project more or less advanced slowly from south to north, work on the upcoming project will be performed in various spots throughout the construction season.
And unlike the previous project, work will be performed during the day.
As for the project itself, workers will remove the existing layer of pavement and reuse it to form the base layer of the new paving.
The project includes realigning the intersection with Randolph Road in Stowe in an effort to improve visibility and safety.
The majority of the work — the exception being the final layer of asphalt — is expected to be completed this year. In 2021, workers will return to complete the job.
The project might prompt some drivers to seek a detour that avoids Route 100, potentially driving more traffic onto Stagecoach Road.
In October, heavy rainfall damaged a section of Stagecoach Road that crosses a creek. However, the creek runs through culverts, not under a bridge, leaving the town government — for the moment — on the hook to pay for repairs.
Harry Shepard, Stowe public works director, said any failure of the span will come from another flood, not from extra vehicles.
“As long as the culverts continues to function and we don’t lose any subgrade any further, I’m not concerned about the increase in traffic,” Shepard said.