Routes 103 and 131

The challenges of driving on Routes 131 and 103 in Cavendish cannot be ignored or dismissed.

Route 131 is pocked with potholes that cause expensive damage to car’s tires and suspension. The intersection of Routes 131 and 103, both of which are major arteries used by trucks and skiers, is a dangerous hazard. And to make it a perfect storm, so to speak, is the unfinished portion of Route 103 that extends to Mount Holly.

I drive these roads and know the substandard shape they are in. But, just looking outside our windows, we all know that nothing much can be done until Spring.

I continue to work on the problem and spent the last week making these roads a priority with various officials in the state Transportation Department as well as the Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee of the Regional Planning Commission.

What has been done is that as of Friday, Jan. 18, VTrans installed additional signage on VT Route 103 in both the north and southbound lanes to assist motorists navigating through the intersection with Route 131. The state will continue to work with the contractor throughout the winter to maintain delineation as best as possible.

Jesse Devlin, VTrans Highway Safety and Design Program Manager, said, “Moving forward, the resurfacing project (of Route 103) will be completed in 2019, which will result in an improved pavement surface as well as the application of durable pavement markings.

“Also in 2019, the bridge on Depot Street, spanning the Black River in Cavendish, is scheduled to be replaced, and it is anticipated that this bridge will be open to traffic in December 2019. This is significant, as past traffic analysis of this intersection has indicated that when Depot Street is open to traffic, it provides relief to the intersections of Routes 103 and 131, allowing it to operate more effectively.”

I have also spoken to Anthony Summers, who is head of the regional planning commission Transportation Advisory Committee. At their February meeting, he is going to move that repaving Route 131 from Route 106 to Route 103 be the state’s top priority in our region. The complete repaving of the nine miles is scheduled to begin in 2020, but I am hoping that it can be moved up to 2019.

For any further inquiries, I can be reached at the Statehouse at 802-828-2424 or at achristensen@leg.state.vt.us

VTrans response:

My name is Jesse Devlin, and I am the Program Manager of the Highway Safety & Design Section at the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). This email is written in response to recent correspondence regarding concerns associated with the intersection of VT Route 103 and VT Route 131 in Cavendish. I can assure you that VTrans recognizes and understands your concern associated with this intersection, and offers the following information.

As you are aware, there was a resurfacing project under construction in 2018 along the length of VT Route 103. Unfortunately this project was not completed as planned in 2018, including the section of VT Route 103 extending through this intersection. This resulted in line striping being applied very late in the season, in unfavorable weather conditions. Line striping performance is very much dependent on temperature and weather conditions. To assist motorists navigating through this intersection, VTrans installed additional signage on VT Route 103 in both the Northbound and Southbound directions. This was completed today, 1/18. We will continue to work with our Contractor throughout this winter to maintain delineation/notification as best possible. Moving forward, the resurfacing project will be completed in 2019 which will result in an improved pavement surface as well as the application of durable pavement markings. Also in 2019, the bridge on Depot Street spanning the Black River is scheduled to be replaced, and it is anticipated that this bridge will be opened back up to traffic in December of 2019. This is significant, as past traffic analysis of this intersection has indicated that when Depot Street is open to traffic, it provides relief to the VT Route 103 / VT Route 131 intersection, allowing it to operate more efficiently.

We have also coordinated with our Office of Highway Safety, and while this intersection is not listed as a high crash intersection and the associated crash history has not resulted in an intersection improvement project being programmed, it is on the team’s radar and will be monitored moving forward. Additionally, we have reached out to the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission to make them aware of the concerns being raised, and allow them to consider those concerns from a regional perspective.

While we understand that this is not an immediate resolution, I hope that I have conveyed to you our understanding of your concerns and the immediate (sign installation & winter monitoring) and near term (completion of the resurfacing and bridge projects) steps we will be taking in order to improve upon the existing condition at this intersection. Thank you for reaching out to us, and please don’t hesitate to contact me at jesse.devlin@vermont.gov if you have additional questions.

Jesse Devlin, P.E
Highway Safety & Design Program Manager
Vermont Agency of Transportation
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05633-5001
Telephone: (802) 793-0182