While the rest of Lamoille County didn’t have a project like Stowe’s Main Street makeover, there were plenty of long traffic backups in 2019 while Route 15 was repaved between Morristown and Wolcott, and half a dozen major streets in Morrisville were milled down and paved.
And then, the Halloween storm ripped up roads and culverts in multiple towns.
• The $1.5 million repaving of 8 miles of Route 15 coincided with repaving 7 miles of Route 14 in Craftsbury. Dozens and dozens of cars typically wound up in a waiting line that could take 10 or 15 minutes during the most disruptive work.
That pushed a lot of savvy drivers onto back roads, as they made their own detours and found new shortcuts.
The construction crews tried to minimize Route 15 traffic impacts, keeping one lane open for alternating one-way traffic as much as possible.
Then, on that same section of Route 15, the Halloween storm sent the Lamoille River surging into the riverbank below the highway in Morristown. An emergency fix to prevent more and future landslides required one-lane traffic for much of the next month.
• In Morrisville village, the Vermont Agency of Transportation resurfaced all Class 1 town highways — that is, town roads that form an extension of a state highway and carry a state highway’s route number. Parts or all of Lower and Upper Main streets, Elmore, Portland, Bridge and Brooklyn streets were milled down early in the construction season, then repaved later in the summer. The work did cause some inconvenience for drivers and downtown businesses, but Routes 15A, 15 and the Route 100 bypass gave people plenty of detour options.
• Expect more this year. Route 100 between Stowe and Morristown is due for a wholesale reconstruction that will take two years — just like the two-year job just completed on Route 100 between Waterbury and Stowe.
• A similar reclamation project on Route 15 between Underhill and Cambridge could begin in the next few years.
• Major paving work is planned over the next few years on Route 15 between Johnson and Morristown, Route 15A in Morristown and Route 118 in Eden.