Rutted Route Four Dragging Us Down….Leveling Soon!

Woodstock Early Birds have been in a “Route Four Rut” for some time now and this summer it seems as if the sides of the main thoroughfare between Woodstock Village and Quechee/Interstate 89 has gotten worse.  Even the usually reserved-in-his-comments Town Manager Phil Swanson described the situation as “dangerous.”

Yesterday, Early Bird herself practically lost control of the vehicle just before Woodstock Beverage (not after!) coming into town after an outing to the Upper Valley. We actually had been all excited on the same trip at a road block in the Quechee area formed by VTrans workers patching up the road with tar between Quechee and  Interstate-89.

Following up, we gave VTrans District Four Supervisor Trevor Starr a little jingle to ask, “Hey, are you gonna’ fix the road (Route 4) between Taftsville and Woodstock anytime soon?”  Cause we sure need it! Those long divots have us scraping mufflers, plastic bumpers and Lord knows what else.

We can also vouch for the fact that our Woodstock Ambulance drivers do not appreciate the road surface as they try to provide a smooth and comfortable ride to patients undergoing transport to  Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  Nothing like a poor EMT trying to get a line going into an already anxious patient as a driver is weaving his or her way through the pretty much non-stop bumps, ruts and nasty patches along the way.

So. Mr Starr gave a call back and reports this bad and good news:

“Bad”– Short-term, VTrans is just patching Route 4 in the Quechee area.

“Good” — A VTrans plan to do a more than a patching, but a separate “leveling project” that will address the Route 4 road section between Woodstock Village and Quechee.  This project has “gone out to bid” and a contract is expected soon, with work possibly starting this summer.

However,  it means if your vehicle doesn’t have much clearance you need to careful that you don’t “bottom out.” But Woodstock Early Birds already know that. We’re just wondering if the State of Vermont will be paying our “out-of-alignment” bills?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Corwin Sharp on July 3, 2012 at 13:39

    I used to race motocross on my motorcycle years ago and I tell ‘ya Rt. 4 east of Woodstock is more challenging than many courses I’ve attempted. This “road” is especially dangerous for motorcycles and particularly to our friends touring Vermont from out of the area and unfamiliar with the conditions. A quick response might be “Irene” did it but not true…Rt. 4 has been a dangerous wreck for years! This is unacceptable in a state where tourism – and much of that by motor vehicle – is the prime economic driver. On a more positive note, our tourist friends will be pleased to know that a considerable portion of the scenic section of Rt 100 between Stockbridge and Rochester has been resurfaced…enjoy!

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  2. Posted by Donna on July 3, 2012 at 17:43

    Speaking of Rte 4, does anyone know why there is no work being done on the Taftsville Covered Bridge?

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    • We suspect there is either a timeline or some of the work still going out to bid. As we remember there are several phases to the this project and several funding sources to get various parts of the reconstruction done. Obviously the support structure has to be re-done before any other parts can be put back together. In any case, there have never been any plans that would lead to the bridge being open or useful until well into 2013. We’ll try to get better answers for you. WEB

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  3. Posted by Juanita on July 6, 2012 at 11:00

    Route 4 is being underwashed by the River and has been for years, which is causing the road to settle to the right going toward Woodstock. There is a lot of traffic on the embankment and heavy traffic too. Irene didn’t cause it, they have known about it for years, Irene may have added to it but this has been going on like I said for years with everyone turning a blind eye because of the expense of doing it right. I’ve seen more then one accident caused by trailers jack knifing especially in the winter from the uneven conditions. As a bus driver that road is hazardous to our children cause you never know who you are going to meet taking there fair share out of the middle to try to avoid the edge. The last time they did the road resurfacing they never shored the bank or put down a proper undersurface…it went to heck in no time, and the contract was given to the low bidder who bit off more then they could chew. A new culvert or two at the top doesn’t help what is going on below.

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