Vermont to embark on record paving effort - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont to embark on record paving effort

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Vermont's rough winter is leading to a rough ride on state roads and highways. But an injection of federal funds will allow crews to do more pothole work than ever before.

Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, shifted his focus from fiscal holes to filling potholes Friday. Road crews watched on as he tried his hand at their profession.

This year there should be more cash than ever before for road repair in Vermont. At a press conference earlier in the day, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, joined the governor as they announced $9 million in extra federal funds to couple with about $20 million already in the budget.

"When we talk about infrastructure in Vermont and America, we have got to understand that as a state and a nation we have very, very serious problems," said Sanders.

The bonus cash stems from all the money Vermont continues to pour into Irene-repair. Even before the storm, experts rated one-third of the state's roads rated as being in "very poor" condition. That figure is down to one-fifth. Crews hope the number will shrink further after they spend the summer working on 375 of the state's 28,000 miles of road.

Shumlin says he expects they'll do as good of a job with that task as they did over the winter.

"These folks just did an extraordinary job in what was relentless storm after relentless storm, that reminded me more of winters we used to have when I was a kid," said Shumlin.

Shumlin noted that this year cost the state about 50 percent more than usual to clear the roads.

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