Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Construction to Begin on Generational Transformation of Main Street

$30 million TIF Funded Great Streets Main Street Project will Comprehensively Renew Key Downtown Infrastructure; Revitalize Downtown with new Bike Lanes, Public Art, Gardens, Wider Sidewalks, and more 

Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Weinberger announced that beginning as early as February 5, 2024, the transformative Great Streets project is expected to begin construction on Main Street in downtown Burlington. This project will create a more vibrant and welcoming downtown for Burlington’s residents, businesses, and visitors and will strengthen public infrastructure for a more resilient future. Construction will be phased over the next three construction seasons, with initial work on the ravine sewer bypass beginning next month.  

“Great Streets Main Street is a generational investment in Burlington’s primary gateway route and is the final of three major downtown projects, including the now-revitalized St. Paul Street and City Hall Park,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger “This project will make our City stronger and more resilient for the future, it sets the stage for growth by enabling new homes and businesses to come into the downtown core, and it creates a great public space between the Church Street Marketplace and the waterfront for residents and visitors to enjoy. It is exciting to see construction get started after years of careful planning, community input, and creative problem-solving.” 

The concept for Great Streets Main Street is about balancing all uses of the public right of way, and will include a wider sidewalk space that can be used by businesses, an 8-foot tree belt, a protected bike lane, parallel parking, flexible space for seating and public art, and better stormwater management with pervious paver belts, rain gardens, and tree wells to infiltrate runoff.  

"While large infrastructure projects can be disruptive in the short-term, bringing Main Street up to the Great Streets standard will transform our downtown and set the stage for growth for many years to come,” said Kara Alnasrawi, Director of Business and Workforce Development. ‘This project will create a welcoming thoroughfare with added space for outdoor cafes, pedestrians and bicycles. In addition, it will modernize downtown’s connection to our beloved waterfront, thus linking some of the City’s most important assets.” 

Today, 50-75% of the space between buildings is dedicated to driving and parking cars. Now, 60% of Burlington’s vital gateway corridor will be used for pedestrians, cyclists, public art, outdoor vending, and more. 

“This is a major project and while construction sequencing is fluid, we are working with our contractor to minimize disruptions,” said DPW Director Chapin Spencer. “A reason for the early start to this work is to lessen the overall impact later in the year – and avoid weekend work. We also want the public to know that downtown is open for business, detour signage will guide you to your location and there is parking available.” 

This $30 million dollar Phase I reinvestment into Main Street's aging infrastructure is funded predominately through Tax-Increment Financing (TIF). Property taxes do not increase to repay TIF debt. This project is managed by Burlington DPW and the contractor is SD Ireland. All businesses in the affected area will remain open and will be accessible to be pedestrians, including J Skis and Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry during the initial temporary street closure.  

More about Great Streets Main Street  

The Main Street project has been planned under the Great Streets standards which seek to unify, beautify, and reinvest in our downtown core. The standards are the result of years of careful planning and public input. Prior projects planned under Great Streets include City Hall Park’s dramatic renewal and the transformation of Saint Paul Street (see below for before and after). 

  • Between South Winooski & Pine:  
  • Surface Improvements: Beautifying the streetscape, and creating a more welcoming environment with brighter lighting, more trees, protected bike lanes, more pedestrian and business space, public art and complete rebuilding of all pavement and sidewalk surfaces.
  • Subsurface Improvements: Replacing water and sewer lines, including transmission and trunk mains, many of which service greater Burlington and were installed more than 100 years ago and would be at a high risk for failure without rehabilitation. 
  • Between Church & South Union, and down Church Street to Maple: Constructing a new sewer system to facilitate the relocation of sewer flow from the extremely deep (> 25 feet) 150-year-old brick “ravine” sewer that transects multiple downtown blocks to a new modern sewer system constructed in the roadway. This will enable future abandonment of the ravine sewer that hinders current downtown development. 

More about Construction, Parking Changes, and Detours  

The project team at the Department of Public Works (DPW) recognizes the short-term impact this work will have on the public. The project team is hosting a public meeting on February 15 from 6-8PM in Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall, along with a Zoom option. 

Additional project schedule details will be shared weekly by DPW when available. It is important to note that construction is highly dependent on weather and is subject to unforeseen issues that arise, especially when dealing with very old infrastructure. 

  • Beginning as early as February 5: The first phase of this project will include excavation to install the first pieces of a new bypass sewer to divert the 150-year-old ravine sewer and close Main Street between South Winooski and South Union for approximately two weeks. This will be followed by restoration of eastbound traffic for an additional 2 weeks. This phase will include limited water impacts. Construction is highly weather-dependent. 
  • Beginning as early as February 19: The contractor will commence work at the intersection of Maple and Church to start construction of the new bypass sewer pipe. This work will include water impacts.  

Members of the public are encouraged to use the following resources for up-to-date information, translation services are available: 

  • Weekly construction updates will be sent out via email and posted on the project website. Learn more at  
  • has a refreshed parking map for the public to learn about public and many private parking opportunities.  
  • Major impacts will be shared via text and email through VT-Alert. Visit to sign up. 
  • The project’s public involvement coordinator can be reached directly at



Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office