Board approves Old Stage Rd. detour for Industrial Ave. project

Now that the northern section of Route 2A connecting Williston and Essex has been widened and a center turning lane added, the Vermont Agency of Transportation is planning a similar project for the central section of the route, between Meadow Run and River Cove roads. 

This section involves the busy three-way intersection of Industrial Avenue, Route 2A and Mountain View Road. Intersection improvement plans include a second left-turn lane for northbound traffic coming off Industrial Avenue, as well as traffic light, signage and drainage improvements. The project is at least two years off.

This summer, state engineers and town officials have been discussing the best option to detour traffic around the intersection for about three weeks during construction. On Tuesday, the selectboard endorsed a plan to divert most traffic to Old Stage Road and Route 2, and use North Williston Road to detour heavy trucks. 

The detour will nearly double traffic on Old Stage Road, according to Tom Bigelow of Green International Affiliates, the Massachusetts company working with VTrans to design the project. Traffic will increase from about 690 cars during typical daytime hours to about 1,140, he said, increasing traffic from two cars per minute to five.

Engineers also anticipate a 50 percent decrease in traffic volume on Mountain View Road during the detour time frame. 

The total cost of the project is estimated at $4.5 million. Local, state and regional planners advanced the project as one of several “circ alternatives” in 2013 — improvements to local roads in lieu of moving forward with a once-planned beltway through suburban Chittenden County. 

— Jason Starr