Seniors ready to build a new road

It’s been a long road, but some UVM seniors have come up with a plan to create a new one.

Five civil engineering students have designed plans to make a new road in Essex Junction, Vt. for their senior project.

The team, made up of seniors Timothy Noordewier, Michael Koch, James Dee, Jacques Larose and John Olsen, worked on the plans with Essex JunctionÕs town engineer, Richard Hamlin.

The proposed project would close down the Essex Junction North Street railroad crossing to vehicle traffic and extend Educational Drive across Old Colchester Road to Route 2A, according to the groupÕs report.

It would improve traffic conditions and there would be a safer crossing, Noordewier said. There’s no new crossing, it’s just moving a dangerous one to a safer location.

North Street is an unsafecrossing area due to the potential for vehicles to get backed-up on the railroad tracks, along with the potential for traffic from Essex High School, the group said.

The No. 1 concern of civil engineers is always public safety, so that’s what we are after, Koch said.

I’ve driven there and parked at Essex High School,alumnus David Dike 11 said. Its a nightmare when you go and when you leave because of all the traffic.

The plan also includes the possible implementation of a bike path along the Educational Drive extension.

This could provide a safer bike route to Essex High School, while also demonstrating environmental awareness and a more sustainable transportation method, the group said.

I think it will benefit bicyclists and pedestrians, especially walking to and from school, senior Monica Dahlgren said. Also, the neighbors surrounding might be a little happier without the student drivers tearing up their road.

It makes it easier for people in the community to get to where they want to, Dee said.

The five seniors presented their plan to the Essex Junction Board of Trustees April 29.

We’ve put a lot of time into this, Noordewier said.

They said they believe that with enough public support, this project has the real potential to be built one day.