The heart of Middlebury Village contains two aging bridges that span the Vermont Railway. These bridges were constructed in the early 1900’s to link Main Street and Merchants Row and are now primary transportation routes through the downtown. As part of an accelerated project developed in accordance with VTrans Local Transportation Facilities Program guidelines, LandWorks was retained as part of a team led by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB) to develop creative options for replacing the bridges while concurrently mitigating impacts to and improving the surrounding business area. A primary goal of the project is to increase vertical clearance for the railroad, and the selected option proposes capping the tunnel to create usable open space at the street level.
As an expansion of the existing Triangle Park, the design proposed by LandWorks includes a generous lawn area with shade trees, thereby providing more space for outdoor events centrally located in the historic business district. The design incorporates reuse of large stone blocks from the deconstructed retaining walls to create a long curving seat wall that honors the site’s history. As part of the public process LandWorks prepared visual simulations of the proposed improvements. The project is ongoing, and the next phase of work includes a more detailed design study.