New Route 7 lights installed in Ferrisburgh will soon be activated

NEW LIGHTS at the North Ferrisburgh intersection of Route 7 with Old Hollow and Stage Roads are expected to flash this weekend, then become fully operational next week, following project delays. Photo courtesy of VTrans

FERRISBURGH – Work to install traffic lights at the North Ferrisburgh intersection of Route 7 and Stage and Old Hollow roads resumed on Wednesday, and lights could start flashing as early as this weekend and be fully operational by week next.

The project contractor was back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a Wednesday email from Transportation Agency project manager Taylor Sisson to Ferrisburgh officials and other stakeholders.

“They hope to turn on the signal tomorrow and run it in ‘flash’ throughout the weekend,” Sisson wrote.

This would mean “the lights would flash yellow for traffic continuing through the intersection onto Route 7 and flash red for left turns off Route 7 and for Old Hollow Road and Stage Road,” he said. added. “This is our standard protocol for turning on a new signal at an intersection that was previously unsignaled. The contractor will endeavor to have the signal fully operational next week.

This is not the first time that work has been delayed this spring. According to VTrans, the utility companies had not resolved the tasks that needed to be completed before the lights could be installed.

Sisson wrote this in an April 13 email:

“Unfortunately, neither Comcast nor Waitsfield Telecom have moved their utility lines from Monday 11th, as we requested. Waitsfield Telecom was waiting for Comcast to move their utility first, but will now meet with a contractor tomorrow to discuss some relocation options to bypass Comcast to get this job done faster.

The original target date was last fall. On March 16, 2021, VTrans emailed city officials stating that the agency had hired Don Weston Excavating Inc. to perform the work, and that the company was “preparing to begin work this summer” and was “optimistic they will be able to meet their October 15 completion date.

Sisson this spring cited COVID and uncooperative weather conditions as additional factors in the delays.

The lights are installed at an intersection that a 2019 VTrans study confirmed to be unsafe, something Ferrisburgh residents and officials had maintained for years.

VTrans research revealed 21 crashes at this intersection in the five years leading up to a January 2019 forum in Ferrisburgh in which the agency pledged to install traffic lights or a roundabout, the majority of the five dozen inhabitants favoring fires. Later in the spring of 2019, VTrans agreed to install signals.

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