Hinesburg receives second grant for VT 116 improvements

HINESBURG The Vermont Agency of Transportation and Safe Routes to School have approved two grants that would provide nearly half a million dollars for a project that would improve both traffic flow and pedestrian access on the west side of Vermont 116. The Safe Routes to School grant, approved in October of 2007, secured slightly less than half of the total funds needed for the project. Two weeks ago, Town Administrator Jeanne Wilson learned that the Agency of Transportation had provided an additional $240,000 bringing the total for the project's funding to $440,000. According to Wilson, Hinesburg will be able to afford any additional costs necessary to complete the scheduled work. "We're thrilled because this is the last major link that we need to network sidewalks on both sides of 116," said Wilson. The project is slated to begin this year and finish sometime near the end of 2009. Construction will begin on the west side of 116 near the Charlotte-Hinesburg Road and finish at the Hinesburg Community School. Residents are used to delays along this route, as construction crews just finished installing a traffic light at the intersection of 116 and the Charlotte-Hinesburg Road back in December. The plan established by town officials includes on street parking, improved curbing and landscaping. Most importantly, the project addresses the need for improved pedestrian pathways on each side of the road, and according to Wilson, that goal will be reached. Presently, the town is working on the projects design, and will soon move on to engineering and permitting. Last fall, Hinesburg was one of many Vermont towns to participate in the Safe Routes to School program, that encouraged walking to school along sidewalks. Additionally, students participated in a walking bus, wherein a group of students walked to school together, making stops along the way to pick up fellow students. The program's success has provided further motivation to refurbish the town's walkways and roadways. For more information on upcoming projects in Hinesburg, contact Jeanne Wilson at 802-482-2096.

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