What Irene Brought Barnard….BIG Projects

Just in case anyone thought we were all tidied up a year after Tropical Storm Irene, here’s the news, the work is STILL going!

We have a BIG PIPE story from Barnard where Road Foreman Lance Webster and his crew are still fixing roads and taking care of a pretty enormous structure brought to Barnard courtesy of the State of Vermont and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It’s meant to be the bridge and stream conduit for an area washed-out up by Alice’s Turn-Around off Smith Road.  This big ‘ole thing at something like 40K is gonna’ go to fix a Class Four Road.  It’s scheduled to go in next week if Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources says it’s a go. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the Governor there for the installation? (But that’s another story…)

In any case, Mr. Webster says pretty much anyone who has driven up or down Chateauguay Road past the Barnard Town Garage has seen this behomoth and asked (or thought), “What in the world is THAT?”

It’s a squished down 12 foot diameter pipe to replace a gully-washed-out 7-foot diameter pipe that held up the road and kept the stream flowing underneath. According to Webster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was pretty much on-board with an equal to the old one replacement 7- foot structure. In fact, that’s all they’ll be paying for. How about that?

Now the twist, due to environmental concerns, including fish habitat and so forth, and wanting to make things better, seems State of Vermont wants the replacement structure BIGGER (at more cost, of course).

Now, Barnard will have it BIGGER (with the 12-foot diameter pipe)  but who  will pay the difference in price? After checking out the structure and taking a drive up to Alice’s Turnaround we kinda’ wondered about the scale of the structure ourselves. Obviously Woodstock Early Bird knows next to zero about road engineering or about stream habitat but let’s just say it sure seems like the “Feng Shui” of the structure is a little “off” for where it’s going.

We think, if nothing else,  this could be a great play structure for the Barnard kids. Dogs seems to like running through it, too.

The structure and its installation is just one of more than 100 individual Town of Barnard projects that resulted from Tropical Irene flooding. It’s just a big ‘ole structure to help put the road back together. We’re sure that FEMA and the State of Vermont will work hand-in-hand to resolve their payment issues! Right?

Meantime, Webster and his crew were waiting this week for another visit from ANR and are gearing up to move the thing. Funny, how, in addition to all their regular work — you know snow-plowing and such — that they continue to fix what Irene dredged up.

The Governor is visiting Stockbridge, Bethel, Woodstock, Quechee Killington among other towns as part of his “Irene Tour” next week.  We kinda’ wonder why Barnard and Bridgewater aren’t getting an official “Thank-You” visit?

Just as well, all the hubbub would just be a time-suck; the road crews still have work to do — like putting in that gi-normous pipe —  any entire year later. As  Barnard Road Foreman Webster says, “Irene has lost her sex appeal but like most local road crews we’re still dealing with it.”

%d bloggers like this: