City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

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DPW Nears Completion of First Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Construction Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane, Mayoral Communications & Projects Coordinator, 802.734.0617

                   Rob Goulding, DPW Public Information Manager, 802.540.0846

 

DPW Nears Completion of First Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Construction Season

Unveils ‘Projects Portal’ to Help Public Track Construction Projects and Progress; Work Set to Begin on Upgrading Downtown Water Pipes

 

Burlington, VT – Today Mayor Miro Weinberger joined Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Chapin Spencer, Champlain Elementary School Principal Dr. Dorinne Dorfman, and Dealer.com Senior Manager of Operations Grace Ciffo near the new sidewalk outside Champlain Elementary School to recognize DPW’s progress on its Sustainable Infrastructure Plan projects, and the launch of a new “projects portal” that will help keep residents informed on current and future projects. This work represents the beginning of implementation of the multi-year Sustainable Infrastructure Plan’s reinvestment in the city, approved overwhelmingly by voters in November 2016. This season, DPW has been focused on road repaving, sidewalk reconstruction and upgrading the City’s aging water infrastructure along multiple streets. By the end of the season, DPW will have completed 5 miles of road repaving (compared to a recent average of 3 miles/year), reconstructed over 3 miles of sidewalk (recent average, just over 1 mi/year) and proactively upgraded nearly 3 miles of water main (versus decades of only pursuing reactive replacement of broken pipes).

 

“It has been exciting this construction season to see the will of the voters start to become a reality with the most substantial reinvestment in many years now improving the quality of our core municipal infrastructure for generations to come,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger “Thank you to the Public Works Department and Director Chapin Spencer for stepping up and largely meeting the ambitious first year goals of the new plan.”

 

Champlain Elementary School benefited from the first season of infrastructure work with the completion of a new sidewalk outside of the campus along Pine Street, and a new curb with an ADA-accessible ramp across the street.

 

"Many students and parents walk, ride bicycles, and ride scooters to school,” said Champlain Elementary School Principal Dr. Dorinne Dorfman. “The new sidewalks, curbs, and ramps make coming to school in ways that protect the environment safer and more fun. While the construction presented challenges as the school year got started, we are grateful for the improvements in time for the winter season."

 

Capital Projects Portal

In support of Burlington’s Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, the Mayor and DPW are proud to announce the launch of a publicly accessible, regularly updated portal (www.burlingtonvt.gov/construction) designed for transparent, timely and reliable information about all public and private construction projects in the city right-of-way. With an increase in capital and maintenance projects around the city as a result of voter-approved bonds in November 2016, this portal will be a useful tool to ensure residents, businesses and all stakeholders can be regularly informed, and has already improved the cross-departmental coordination of municipal projects.

 

The portal features current, upcoming and completed projects, including contact information for project managers or City departments, as well as links to projects pages where available, and other important project details. The project is a broad, citywide initiative, coordinated with the Mayor’s Office and led by the Department of Public Works.

 

Pine Street Relining to Begin This Fall; Resume in Spring 2018

As an important next step in the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, DPW will begin relining the aging pipes along Pine Street between Main and Maple in late October to benefit residents and businesses by improving water quality and water pressure. These infrastructure investments will increase system reliability, with fewer unplanned disruptions and water main breaks over time. In spring 2018, DPW will undertake another significant upgrade along Pine Street on an integral corridor between Howard and Lakeside.

 

Due to innovations in new and tested technology, the pipes on Pine Street will be relined rather than replaced. This will allow an overall quicker, less disruptive and less expensive project, compared to open dig replacement, while producing better water quality and increased fire flows.

 

While relining projects avoid significant disruptions to water service, the City and its contractor, AquaRehab, will maintain 24 hour emergency telephone help lines. Prior to the beginning of the summer construction season, DPW worked with residents and businesses to ensure that construction avoided significant and celebrated events, including Labor Day weekend, the first day of school, and Art Hop. DPW sent letters to property owners on June 19 and held an informational meeting on June 29 to discuss the project. DPW is also working on plans to minimize parking losses and lane closures and create the safest possible driving conditions for our residents, businesses and visitors. For an updated schedule for all water capital construction projects, including Pine Street, see here: http://bit.ly/CY17WRCapital.

 

This work also precedes the kickoff of the Champlain Parkway Project, scheduled to start in fall 2018. Other complimentary projects near this important stretch of city streets are also in design, underway or completed, including infrastructure upgrades along King Street and St. Paul Street.

 

“The City recognizes that much of this work is occurring in busy corridors and efforts have been made to mitigate the impacts to area residents and businesses,” said DPW Director Chapin Spencer. “While there will be inevitable impacts during construction, one of the pipes to be relined was originally installed in 1894 and upgrades are clearly necessary. The increased funding allows us to be proactive and coordinate our investments like never before. This is the right time to undertake these projects to create resilient streets that serve Burlington for generations.”

 

“We are very focused on creating great experiences for our employees, and every ‘touch-point’ counts. A healthy, sustainable civic environment in Burlington is crucial to Dealer.com’s energy and mission. Mayor Weinberger’s transparency around the Department of Public Work’s Sustainable Infrastructure projects is exciting and appreciated. Dealer.com represents the second largest location of our Parent Company, Cox Automotive, and improvements like these help to further emphasize the value of working in Burlington, VT.” 

 

Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Background

In November 2016, the residents of Burlington voted in support of a $27.5 million general obligation bond to fund capital improvement projects across the city over five years (an additional approximately $14 million will be spent from other sources on this infrastructure plan). In return for this investment, residents will see vastly improved streets and sidewalks (sixteen percent of our sidewalk system is in serious to failed condition and 23 percent of our streets are currently in a poor or failed condition), the replacement of two thirds of our fleet of aging fire trucks, a completed Bike Path renovation and enhancement, and much more over the next five years. The Sustainable Infrastructure Plan and the work DPW and other city departments are doing addresses many of the challenges that aging infrastructure presents.

 

In addition, voters supported the $8.3 million Water Systems Improvements revenue bond. Currently, 42 percent of the 110 miles of city water pipes are older than 75 years and 25 percent are older than 100 years. This phase of DPW’s water infrastructure reinvestment project will reline 2.74 miles and replace 1.42 miles of aging water main through June 2018 in stages, and is aligned with the street repaving program in order to save money and time through proactive planning and infrastructure management. An example of this proactive coordination includes the work being done along King Street. While the subsurface drinking water infrastructure was upgraded last year, there are stormwater upgrades, traffic calming and repaving work underway which will create a resilient street and preserve our critical investments.

 

Additionally, DPW considered risk factors including age of pipes, number of breaks and recent break history in determining which streets and sections of main were selected. The decision to reline the majority of aging pipes was made due to innovations in new, and tested, pipe relining technology, allowing this component of the project to be quicker, less disruptive to city life, and less expensive than traditional open dig water main replacement. New technology will also help DPW avoid interruptions to water service as its contractor carries out the relining work. Where necessary, water main sections which need increased flow capacity are being upsized to larger diameter pipe – thus necessitating the open dig replacement approach.

 

Capital Projects Contact Information

To view the Capital Projects Portal, visit www.burlingtonvt.gov/construction

 

For more information on DPW’s Water Resources Capital Projects, including Relining and Replacement Projects, see here: http://bit.ly/CY17WRCapital

 

For issues, questions or concerns about the relining/replacing project, please contact the Water Division at 802-863-4501. Non-emergency inquiries can also be submitted via email at water-resources@burlingtonvt.gov. For those on a temporary water supply and experiencing issues please contact (24/7) Aquarehab: 802-495-6284.

 

For more information on the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, see here: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Mayor/10-Year-Capital-Plan

 

* Please see slide, “Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Goals for 2017 Construction Season,” for a comparison of past annual infrastructure investments to this year’s infrastructure goals.

 

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