Construction on Colchester

Students will need to avoid parts of Colchester Avenue for the next two weeks due to construction. The city of Burlington is planning to repave and reline parts of the street to eliminate vehicle sideswipes due to swerving and weaving common on the street, according to an e-mail from Director of UVM Transportation and Parking Services Jim Barr. “I’ve seen information on the website that indicates improvements for pedestrian crossing, bicycle lanes and wider vehicle lanes to hopefully eliminate vehicle side-swipes,” Barr said. The plan will involve grinding off three inches of ?pavement and applying new asphalt in several sections of Colchester Avenue. For about one month, from South Prospect Street to East Avenue, the street will be relined with one westbound lane, one eastbound lane and left turn lanes at key intersections, the e-mail stated. After the month, traffic engineers will study traffic flow, traffic queuing, safety and intersection capacity to will evaluate the success of the new configuration, the Burlington transportation website stated. The city will then decide whether or not to install permanent features. “I heard verbally from Nicole Losch, Burlington Public Works Project Coordinator, that although the initial scope does not include sidewalk improvements, that those areas would be addressed once they decide what the final traffic pattern will be,” Barr said. The Colchester Avenue Demonstration Project is part of the City’s enhanced Street Paving Program to determine if a “complete streets” configuration will increase safety for all users. According to the website, the Demonstration Project will address several distinct segments of Colchester Avenue: Prospect Street to Mansfield Avenue: Reduce through traffic to one lane and add a left turn lane to Mansfield Avenue. Mansfield Avenue to Fletcher Allen entrance: Reduce through traffic to one lane and add a multipurpose turn lane. Fletcher Allen entrance to Fletcher Place: reduce traffic to one lane in each direction and add a left turn lane to Fletcher Place Fletcher Place to East Avenue: Reduce west bound travel to single lane. “Staff has reviewed this demonstration project with the CCTA, CATMA (representing UVM, Fletcher Allen Hospital and the American Red Cross) and the Burlington Police and Fire Departments,” the website stated. “We have registered their concerns and will make a final recommendation with their input in mind.”