COLCHESTER, Vt. – In four weeks, the Colchester Causeway will close for the year for extensive repairs that the town hopes will offer a more long-term solution for weather damage.
With $1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, crews will repair the troubled causeway, which has a history of succumbing to rough spring weather. Last year, the state intervened after a May storm left long stretches of trail washed out.
Some bikers wish the upcoming repairs could be completed when they’re not looking to hit the road.
“I’m really bummed out,” said Matthew Miffit of Colchester. “I wish they would do it over the winter and wait until it’s not even rideable because September is pretty much the best time of year. I think it’s a real bummer to close it like that.”
Others said based on the current condition of the causeway, they aren’t surprised to see it will soon be closed.
“It gets pretty treacherous up there,” said Trevor Swim. “You can really see the washouts and it makes it tough for people, especially when you meet people walking, you get over in the loose sand which makes it pretty difficult to walk and bike.”
Local Motion, a Vermont company that operates the bike ferry that transports bikers back-and-forth from Colchester and South Hero, said in July that they’re on pace to meet or break their record of 16,000 passengers this season.
Pat Nagy, a deck hand with Local Motion, said recent activity at the ferry seems to support that projection.
“The weekends in particular have been very busy,” Nagy said. “We’ve had a number of days over 300 people, and even today, on a Monday, we’ve been busy pretty much all day.”