By Luke Baynes
The Vermont Agency of Transportation has allocated $145,000 in federal grant monies for the completion of a stretch of sidewalk that will provide pedestrian connectivity between Williston Road (U.S. 2) and South Brownell Road.
“It’s basically the last stretch that isn’t completed yet,” said Williston Director of Public Works Bruce Hoar. “No one’s come in for a development, which is how a lot of sidewalk sections get built, so we have a gap that’s missing to get it out to Williston Road.”
Hoar noted that the sidewalk connection, which will require a 10 percent matching contribution from the town, will give pedestrians on South Brownell Road access to points north and east.
“This one is actually kind of a critical one, because if you get all the way out to Williston Road, then you’re connected up North Brownell Road, or you can go all the way down to Taft Corners,” he said.
The current sidewalk on the west side of South Brownell Road ends roughly 300 feet (about the length of a football field) from Williston Road. To the south, it terminates in front of Quintin Brothers Auto & Performance, although pedestrians can cross the road and continue on a sidewalk that connects to Marshall Avenue.
Hoar said the sidewalk construction will likely coincide with planned intersection improvements—including the addition of a turning lane on South Brownell Road—that are among the required traffic mitigation requirements for the crosstown Finney Crossing project.
Hoar speculated that the concurrent sidewalk and intersection projects could begin as early as the fall of 2013, although he said a more likely timeframe is sometime in 2014.