February 20, 2019

Vtrans plans Route 2A widening, intersection improvements

Observer photo by Jason Starr
Route 2A from Bittersweet Circle to the Winooski River bridge will be revamped as part of a ‘circ alternative’ project beginning in September.

‘Circ alternative’ project set for September start

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

A third lane will be added to Route 2A between River Cove Road and Eastview Circle as part of a Vermont Agency of Transportation project set to break ground in September.

Project construction is expected to last roughly one year.

The road, which connects Williston and Essex, will be widened to accommodate a new 13-foot center lane. At River Road and James Brown Drive, the center lane will be dedicated to northbound left-turning traffic. At other areas along the half-mile stretch, the center lane will remain undesignated, to be shared by both northbound and soutbound left-turning traffic.

The $2.5 million project was fast tracked for federal funds by the Vermont Legislature as a “circ alternative.” It is one of several Chittenden County road projects developed by regional planners in 2012 designed to alleviate traffic congestion in the absence of the once-planned “circumferential highway” around greater Burlington.

Vtrans Project Manager Erin Parizo will join contractors from Williston-based Engineers Construction Inc., in a presentation of project details during next Tuesday’s meeting of the Williston Selectboard at Town Hall.

The project includes a revamp of the intersection of Route 2A and James Brown Drive, with a new traffic light and three-way pedestrian crossing controlled by the traffic light. The light will include a dedicated left-turn arrow for northbound travelers.

In addition, the intersection with Bittersweet Circle will receive a new pedestrian crossing activated by a push-button flashing beacon, and a sidewalk will be built along the east side of the road from Morgan Parkway to Eastview Circle.

Parizo said the road will be repaved along the section being widened, and resurfaced, restriped and re-signed along the rest of the project area from Bittersweet Circle to the Essex town line at the Winooski River.

New curbing, drainage and stormwater mitigation are also part of the plan.

Two-way traffic will be maintained during daytime hours, Parizo said, but traffic delays are expected. The road will be reduced to one lane at times during the overnight hours.

“The major traffic impact will be during night hours when there are fewer vehicles,” she said.

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