Wed, Jan 4, 2012 04:21 PM
STOCKBRIDGE - The final segment of Vermont's state highway
system closed due to damage from Tropical Storm Irene reopened to
traffic Thursday, Dec. 29. A celebration was held at Stockbridge
Central School to commemorate the reopening of the "Last Mile,"
actually just over seven miles of Vermont Route 107 between Bethel
and Stockbridge. State and local officials joined with VTrans
workers and representatives from the many groups that played a part
in the reconstruction process to celebrate, remember and mark the
beginning of the next phase of recovery for the hard-hit
The reconstruction of Route 107 was accomplished in 16 weeks
through a combination of innovation and hard work. More than 46
companies, including two major contractors and two railroads,
worked with VTrans, National Guard units and law enforcement
personnel to complete the project.
"The opening of the last mile of damaged roads from Tropical Storm
Irene marks a significant milestone in our state's recovery," said
Gov. Peter Shumlin. "It re-connects the communities of Bethel and
Stockbridge as well as a critical corridor in North - South travel
in Vermont. It also symbolizes the Vermont Strong spirit that has
prompted this remarkably swift recovery from much of the
devastation left by Irene."
Brian Searles, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation,
agreed. "This has been the result of hard work, partnerships,
dedication and sacrifice of so many people. With the
re-opening of this roadway, VTrans has succeeded in completing its
final goal of the Irene Emergency Response mission - re-opening all
state roads by the end of the year."
Tropical Storm Irene damaged over 500 miles of state roads in
Vermont, with 34 bridges closed for repair. In just four
months the Vermont Agency of Transportation has overseen the
reconstruction and re-opening of all bridges and roadway segments
damaged in the aftermath of the storm.