60 Culverts Damaged in Central VT Town

Published 04/16 2014 06:09PM

Updated 04/16 2014 07:32PM

DUXBURY, Vt. - As the rain fell in Duxbury this week, the problems quickly mounted. More than sixty culverts were damaged, or destroyed, by the sudden rush of water.

"Severe washouts on Mountain View, and Scrabble Hill Road. They're secure now, but do need to be replaced quickly," Duxbury Foreman Adam Magee said.

On Wilder Road, it was a similar issue.

"The culvert actually picked up, water went over the road, and a concrete abutment fell over. The pipe eventually just failed,” he said.

Part of Crossett Hill in Duxbury, one of the dozens of culvert trouble spots in town that developed with the recent heavy rains, could be down to at least one lane, if not totally closed, for weeks.

"We're going to be doing this repair work for many months. It’s not going to be fixed overnight,” according to Magee.

The Selectboard approved funding for emergency road and culvert repairs Wednesday morning. Magee says the new culverts will be bigger to hopefully avoid problems going forward.

At Vermont's Emergency Operations Center Wednesday, Governor Peter Shumlin was briefed on the damage. He, and other top state leaders, worry projects designed to improve road conditions after the harsh winter, and now spring floods, may be delayed.

"We're about to let contracts go out for work that's got to be done, and yet we still don't know that we'll have the federal money to pay the bill when we're done,” Shumlin said.

Shumlin says the state has made great strides in improving the quality of its roads in recent years, and he wants that to continue. Without action from Congress, the federal Highway Trust Fund, which partially funds many state projects, could run dry as early as this summer, bringing some plans to a halt.

"We will have to put bridge projects on hold and we'll have to say to our pavers that we can't pave as much as we thought," according to the Governor.

State leaders did share some good news Wednesday. VTRANS says patch work on pot holes lining state highways will ramp up in coming weeks.

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