Quantcast

YCQM: May 11, 2014 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: May 11, 2014

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE,OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY ISTRANSPORTATION SECRETARY BRIANSEARLES.

>> WE'LL TALK ABOUT ONGOINGREPAIRS AFTER TROPICAL STORMIRENE, BRIDGE AND ROADWORK,AND OF COURSE FUNDING.

>> VERMONT'S ROUGH WINTER ISLEADING TO A ROUGH RIDE ONSTATE ROADS AND HIGHWAYS THISSPRING.

>> BUT AN INJECTION OF FEDERALMONEY WILL ALLOW CREWS TO DOMORE POTHOLE WORK THAN EVERBEFORE.LET'S BEGIN THE CONVERSATIONWITH THIS REPORT FROM KYLEMADURA.

>> GOVERNOR PETER SHUMLINSHIFTED HIS FOCUS FROM FISCALHOLES TO FILLING POTHOLESFRIDAY.ROAD CREWS WATCHED AS HE TRIEDHIS HAND AT THEIR PROFESSION.

>> WE'LL HAVE TO MOVE ON.[ LAUGHTER ]

>> I WILL GET OUT OF YOURHAIR.

>> THIS YEAR THERE SHOULD BEMORE CASH THAN EVER BEFORE FORROAD REPAIR IN VERMONT.AT A PRESS CONFERENCE EARLIERIN THE DAY, SENATOR BERNIESANDERS JOINED THE GOVERNOR ASTHEY ANNOUNCED $9 MILLION INEXTRA FEDERAL FUNDS TO COUPLEWITH ABOUT 20 MILLION ALREADYIN THE BUDGET.

>> WHEN WE TALK ABOUTINFRASTRUCTURE IN THE --VERMONT AND IN AMERICA, WEHAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT AS ASTATE, AND A NATION, WE HAVEVERY, VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS.

>> THE BONUS CASH STEMS FROMALL THE MONEY VERMONTCONTINUES TO POUR INTO IRENEREPAIR.EVEN BEFORE THE STORM, EXPERTSRATED A THIRD OF THE STATE'SROADS AS BEING IN VERY POORCONDITION.THAT FIGURE IS DOWN TO AFIFTH.CREWS HOPE THE NUMBER WILL SHRIPPING FURTHER AFTER THEYSPEND THE SUMMER WORKING ON375 OF THE STATE'S 800 MILESOF ROAD.SHUMLIN SAID HE EXPECTS THEYWILL DO AS GOOD A JOB WITHTHAT TASK AS THEY DID OVER THEWINTER.

>> THESE FOLKS JUST DID ANEXTRAORDINARY JOB, IN WHAT WASJUST RELENTLESS STORM AFTERRELENTLESS STORM, THATREMINDED ME POUR OF WINTERS --MORE OF WINTERS WE USED TOHAVE WHEN I WAS A KID.

>>> TO TALK MORE ABOUT THEPOTHOLE PROBLEM, THE FIXES ANDFUNDING, WE ARE JOINED BYTRANSPORTATION SECRETARY BRIANSEARLES.THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> LET'S START WITH THATINFUSION OF FEDERAL MONEY.WE'RE TALKING ABOUT $9 MILLIONEXTRA DOLLARS, THAT'S ADDED TOA $20 MILLION BUDGET, MONEYALREADY THERE FOR ROADREPAIRS.HOW MUCH OF A DENT CAN WEACTUALLY MAKE WITH THAT?

>> TO BE CLEAR -- WE'RETALKING ABOUT STATE-FUNDEDEFFORTS IN THIS 14 MILLION,AND THAT'S IN ADDITION TO OURREGULAR CAPITAL PROGRAM.IN OUR REGULAR CAPITAL PROGRAMWE HAVE ABOUT 115 MILLION,JUST FOR ROAD SURFACES, ANDANOTHER 140 MILLION FORBRIDGES.SO WHAT THIS PROGRAM ISDESIGNED TO DO IS GET AFTERTHOSE UNEXPECTEDDETERIORATIONS AND ROADSURFACES THAT CAME FROM THELONG WINTER.

>> SO NOT NECESSARILY, THEN,EXTRA MONEY BEING THROWN ATVERMONT.

>> WELL, IT IS IN THISRESPECT.WHEN SENATOR SANDERS WASINVOLVED IN WRITING THETRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATION ACOUPLE OF YEARS AGO IN THEWAKE OF IRENE, HE WASSUCCESSFUL IN PUTTING A CLAUSEIN THERE THAT WOULD INCREASEOUR LEVEL OF FUNDING IN WEREACHED A CERTAIN THRESHOLD.THAT THRESHOLD BEING OURREGULAR, NORMAL FEDERALALLOCATION FOR SURFACETRANSPORTATION.WE PASSED THAT, AND BY DOINGTHAT, OUR PERCENTAGE OFFEDERAL FUNDS ON ANY OF THOSEEMERGENCY PROJECTS WENT FROM80 TO 90, AND THAT DOESREPRESENT AN INFUSION OF NEWMONEY.AND WHAT WE'VE DONE, DECIDEDTO USE THAT IN RESPONSE TOTHIS WINTER.

>> AND WHERE ARE THE MAINAREAS THAT YOU WILL BEWORKING?

>> WELL, THEY ARE REALLYEVERYWHERE.IF YOU LOOK AT A MAP, YOUKNOW, EVERYBODY WAS AFFECTEDBY WHAT WE DEALT WITH THISWINTER.THERE ARE POTHOLES EVERYWHERE.NOT JUST IN VERMONT, ALTHOUGHTHAT'S WHAT WE WILL BEFOCUSING ON, BUT ALL ACROSSTHE NORTHERN TIER OF THECOUNTRY, BECAUSE OF THE LENGTHOF THE WINTER, THE NUMBER OFPRECIPITATION EVENTS, MOSTLYSNOW, BUT SOME ICE AND RAINMIXED IN, AND THE AMOUNT OFFROST WE HAD IN THE GROUND.

>> GIVE US A COMPARISON.HOW MUCH HAVE WE SPENT SO FARTHIS YEAR, AS COMPARED TOANOTHER WINTER.

>> THIS WINTER COST ABOUT $30MILLION IN MAINTENANCE.AN AVERAGE WINTER IS MORE LIKE20.AND THIS IS THE SECOND ONE INA ROW.LAST YEAR WAS ABOUT 26.AND SO IT'S NOT THAT WE GOOVER BUDGET, IT'S THAT WE HAVETO SHIFT FUNDS FROM OTHERPLACES IN THE BUDGET TO MAKESURE THAT WE CAN RESPOND TOTHESE KINDS OF ABNORMALCIRCUMSTANCES.YOU KNOW, THE COST OF SALT ISA BIG FACTOR.WE NORMALLY USE ABOUT 87,000TONS OF SALT.THAT'S AN AVERAGE OVER TIME.ALMOST 130,000 THIS YEAR.SO IT WAS QUITE DIFFERENT, ANDTHAT'S WHAT WE ARE RESPONDINGTO.

>> WHEN YOU TALK ABOUTSHIFTING THOSE FUNDS, WHEREARE YOU SHIFTING THEM FROM TOHANDLE THAT?

>> WELL, WE HAD MAINTENANCEACTIVITIES THAT GOING -- GO ONEACH SUMMER.THERE'S DITCHING, CLEARING OFBRUSH, MOWING ACTIVITIES.YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE, ANDYOU PRIORITIZE, AND INRESPONSE TO THIS, WE ARE GOINGTO BE MOVING FUNDS AROUND TOMAKE SURE THAT WE CANACCOMPLISH THIS.

>> LET'S TALK A LITTLE BITABOUT, YOU KNOW, THESE ROUGHWINTERS, BUT IN ADDITION,COULD THE PROBLEM POSSIBLY BETHAT OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOTUP TO PAR?

>> SURE.YOU KNOW, LET'S TALK ABOUTPAVING A MINUTE.ALL PAVING PROJECTS ARE NOTCREATED EQUAL.SOME PAVING APPLICATIONS COSTLESS THAN 100,000 A MILE, SOMEARE ALMOST A MILLION.AND IF THE ROADS ARE REALLY,IN REALLY BAD SHAPE, YOU NEEDA PAVING TREATMENT THAT COSTSA LOT MORE.ON AVERAGE, ALL THE PAVINGWILL DO THIS SUMMER IS ABOUT300,000 A MILE.WHAT WE'LL DO, IF WE CAN GETTHE CONDITION OF THEINFRASTRUCTURE TO A POINTWHERE WE'RE REALLY DOINGPREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE WITHLESS EXPENSIVE TREATMENTS,EVENTUALLY OUR BILLS FORPAVING WILL GO DOWN, AND WEWON'T HAVE TO DO AS MANY OFTHOSE VERY EXPENSIVETREATMENTS.

>> THIS 300,000 A MILE IS AMAJOR OVERHAUL OF A ROAD.

>> WELL, ACTUALLY THAT IS ANAVERAGE OF ALL OF THETREATMENTS WE WILL BE DOING.A MAJOR OVERHAUL OF THE ROADCAN BE CLOSE TO A MILLIONDOLLARS A MILE.

>> HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE?

>> BASICALLY OUR PROJECTSELECTION PROCESS COMES FROMWHAT DIFFERENT PLACES.ONE IS A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH,AND THE OTHER IS PRIORITIES OFOUR CITIES AND TOWNS.SO EVERY TOWN IN VERMONT HAS AREPRESENTATIVE OF THE REGIONALPLANNING COMMISSION, THEY HAVESUBCOMMITTEES THAT TAKE A LOOKAT THEIR PRIORITIZATION, THATENDS UP AS A PACKAGE THATCOMES TO US.WE BLEND IN SUCH THINGS AS THECONDITION OF THE ROAD, THEAMOUNT OF TRAFFIC, HOW MUCHTRUCK TRAFFIC, SAND -- AND SOON.THEN IT GOES TO THELEGISLATURE AS A PROPOSAL FROMTHE GOVERNOR AND GETSAPPROVED.SO IT IS A LENGTHY PROCESS.WHAT HAPPENED THIS SPRING ISTHAT WE HAD APP LOT OFPROBLEMS THAT WEREN'T COVEREDBY THE REGULAR CAPITALPROGRAM, AND THAT'S WHAT THISFAST FIX 14 IS DESIGNED TOATTACK.

>> THE ROADS THAT KYLE HADTALKED ABOUT, A 5TH OF THEROADS DESCRIBED AS VERY POORCONDITIONS.ARE THOSE THE ROADS THAT WILLBE TARGETED THIS SUMMER?

>> YES.SOME OF THOSE WILL.WE ARE GETTING TO AS MANY OFTHOSE AS POSSIBLE.THEY ARE NOT THE TARGETNECESSARILY OF THIS QUICK FIXSOLUTION, THEY ARE PART OF THEREGULAR CAPITAL PROGRAM, ANDWE ARE TRYING TO GET THAT DOWNTO A WORKABLE NUMBER, ANDWORKABLE NUMBER FOR US THATWOULD START TO POSITIVELYAFFECT OUR BUDGET IS LESS THAN10%.RIGHT NOW WE ARE ABOUT 21,DEPENDING ON HOW SUCCESSFULOUR PROGRAM IS THIS YEAR, ANDWHAT OTHER WEATHER CHALLENGESWE HAVE, WE SHOULD BE UNDER20% BY THE END OF THIS CAPITALPROGRAM, AND WE WILL KEEPWORKING THAT DOWN AS WE GOALONG.

>> HOW TOUGH IS IT TO GET ITUNDER THAT 10%.IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?

>> SURE.IT BECOMES, ACTUALLY BECOMESEASIER AS TIME GOES ALONG,BECAUSE AS YOU REDUCE THEPERCENTAGE OF VERY POOR ROADS,YOUR OVERALL BUDGET IS ABLE TOPAVE MORE MILES.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT BRIDGESNOW.

>> SURE.

>> HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED SOMEBRIDGES THAT ARE IN DESPERATENEED REPAIR?

>> YES.THOSE BRIDGES GET ATTENTIONCONSTANTLY.YOU KNOW, WE HAVE RIGHT NOW ITHINK SOMETHING IN THE AREA OF9% STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENTBRIDGES, WHICH IS -- OUR GOALIS 10, GOING INTO LAST YEAR'SBUDGET.

>> ARE THEY IMPASSABLE?

>> NO.THOSE ARE SAFE, BUT THEY HAVEBEEN THE SUBJECT OF HEAVYMAINTENANCE TO MAKE SURE THEYSTAY SAFE, BUT THEY NEED MAJORWORK.WE ARE GETTING TO ABOUT 150MILLION WORTH OF BRIDGES THISYEAR.AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DOTHAT UNTIL WE HAVE NOSTRUCTURALLY DEFICIENTBRIDGES.THAT'S THE GOAL.AND ONCE AGAIN, A MATTER OFMONEY.WE HAVE HAD SOME VERYSUCCESSFUL PROGRAMMINGINTERNALLY AROUND ACCELERATINGTHESE BRING PROJECTS, DOINGDESIGN BUILD PROJECTS.THERE'S ONE GOING ON RIGHT NOWON INTERSTATE 89, ANOTHER ONEDOWN ON I-91 IN BRATTLEBOROTHAT'S THE MOST EXPENSIVEBRIDGE PROJECT WE'VE EVERDONE, WE'RE REPLACING FOURBRIDGES ON 91.SO IT IS REALLY A CONSTANTBATTLE.RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, WE AREVERY PROUD OF THE FACT THAT WEHAVE HAD THREE VERY, VERYROBUST BRIDGE PROGRAMS IN AROW, AND THIS ONE, AS I SAID,ABOUT $150 MILLION.

>>> WHEN I LOOKED AT THATBRIDGE LIST, IT IS A LONG,LONG LIST.AND INCLUDED IN IT ARE YOURTOP PRIORITIES.SOME OF THOSE PRIORITIESINCLUDE THINGS THAT SAY, YOUKNOW, FULL BRIDGE REPLACEMENTNEEDED.FOUR OUT OF NINE ON A FEDERALSCALE IN SOME CATEGORIES.SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUTTHE SAFETY OF OUR BRIDGES?

>> NO, BECAUSE WE AREMONITORING THEM CONSTANTLY,AND SO THEY -- WE NEVER LETTHEM GET TO THE POINT WHERETHEY ARE UNSAFE.AND IF SOMETHING HAPPENSSUDDENLY THAT RENDERS THEMUNSAFE, WE WILL CLOSE THEM.WE DON'T LIKE TO HAVE ANYCLOSED BRIDGES, BUT THAT'SWHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF IN FACT ABRIDGE WAS UNSAFE.

>> YOU MENTIONED A COUPLE OFSPOTS WHERE FOLKS CAN EXPECTSOME DELAYS, PERHAPS DETOURS.WHERE ELSE WILL WE SEE THEMOST ACTION THIS COMINGSUMMER?

>> WELL, THERE WILL BE A LOTOF ACTIVITY ON THE INTERSTATE.WE HAVE PAVING GOING ON FROMHARTFORD TO SHARON, FORINSTANCE, ON 89.ANOTHER PROJECT GOING ON FROMRICHMOND TO COLCHESTER THAT'SHAPPENING OVERNIGHT.AND THAT'S TO MINIMIZE THEEFFECT ON TRAVEL.SO 91, OF COURSE, WE'VE GOTTHE BIG BRIDGE PROJECT ANDSEVERAL OTHER SMALLERPROJECTS, AND THEN THE IN THESUMMER, THERE IS WORK GOING ONIN THE WAKE OF IRENE FSHTHSWE'RE STILL DOING IRENE WORKIN THE STATE.WE HAVE THE BROOKFIELDFLOATING BRIDGE PROJECTHAPPENING THIS YEAR, THEICONIC TRANSPORTATION ANDTOURIST ATTRACTION.

>> SURE.

>> WE HAVE A LOCALLY MANAGEDPROJECT IN SOUTH BURLINGTON TOCREATE THE THIRD LANE BY THESTAPLES PLAZA.THAT WILL REPRESENT SOMEISSUES FOR TRAFFIC, I THINK.WE HAVE A PROJECT IN THEROCHESTER-WARREN-MIDDLEBURYAREA THAT WE'VE GROUPEDTOGETHER SIX BRIDGES, ANDTHOSE ARE BEING DONE IN SUCH AWAY SINCE THEY REQUIRE DETOURSTHAT WE HOPE TO MINIMIZE THEEFFECT TO THE PUBLIC.THAT WILL GO ON ALL YEAR, SIXBRIDGES INVOLVED.AND SEVERAL OF THOSE ARE IRENEREPLACEMENTS.SO THOSE ARE KIND OF THEHEADLINES.AND THEN OF COURSE WE HAVEPLENTY OF WORK IN THE CAPITALPROGRAM OUTSIDE OF ROADS ANDBRIDGES.

>> I THINK WHEN YOU TALK ABOUTIRENE, HOW LONG WILL IT TAKEFOR VERMONT TO GET ALL OF THATREPAIRED?

>> WELL, I THINK THE WAY IT'SLOOKING NOW, PROBABLY THISYEAR'S CAPITAL PROGRAM ANDNEXT YEAR'S CAPITAL PROGRAMSHOULD JUST ABOUT BRING THATCHAPTER TO A CLOSE.

>> WHERE ARE THE PROBLEM AREASSTILL?

>> IT'S THE CORRIDORS.YOU KNOW, 100 IS THE BESTEXAMPLE, AND THERE YOU HAD ALOT OF RECONSTRUCTION, VERYQUICK CONSTRUCTION PROJECTSTHAT OPENED UP THAT ROAD, ANDNOW WE'VE GOT TO GET IN THEREAND DO THE PERMANENT REPAIRS.IF YOU DRIVE 100 YOU WILLNOTICE THAT THERE ARE SOMESPOTS THAT ARE STILLPROBLEMATIC.CULVERTS, THERE'S PROJECTS ALLOVER THE STATE THAT ARE TRYINGTO MAKE OUR CULVERTS MORERESILIENT TO STORMS, BECAUSEWE BELIEVE THAT THIS HEAVYRAIN IS PART OF OUR FUTURE.SO THOSE ARE KINDS OF THINGSWE WILL BE DOING.

>> TAKE -- PARTICULARLY ALONGROUTE 100, IS THERE SOMETHINGABOUT THAT AREA THAT MADE ITJUST A LITTLE BIT WORSE THANSOME OF THESE OTHER AREAS THATWERE HIT BY IRENE?

>> SURE.I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY THATMOST ROADS IN VERMONT HAVE,YOU KNOW, A STREAM ON ONE SIDEAND A MOUNTAIN ON THE OTHER.IN THE CASE OF 100, YOU HAVEGOT, YOU KNOW, IT RUNS KIND OFTHE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE GREENMOUNTAINS.SO YOU HAVE SIGNIFICANTDIFFERENCES IN ELEVATION, ANDTHAT'S REALLY WHAT CAUSED THEDAMAGE FROM IRENE, WAS THEVERY, VERY HEAVY AMOUNTS OFRAIN AT HIGH ALTITUDES.

>>> WHEN YOU DECIDE TO DONIGHT WORK, VERSUS DAY WORK,YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOMEPEOPLE WHO GET STUCK INTRAFFIC.OH, WHY AREN'T THEY DOING ITIN THE EVENING OVERNIGHT.HOW DO YOU DECIDE THAT?

>> IT IS BASICALLY ABOUTTRAFFIC FLOW.IT IS THE NUMBER OF VEHICLESPER DAY THAT ARE COUNTED IN APARTICULAR PLACE.SO IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY WE DOMORE NIGHT WORK THAN WE MIGHTDO IN OTHER PLACES IN THESTATE JUST BECAUSE OF TRAFFICFLOWS.THE PROBLEM WITH NIGHTACTIVITIES, NIGHTCONSTRUCTION, IT IS MOREEXPENSIVE.SO, YOU KNOW, TRYING TOSTAY -- TRYING TO MAKE OURMONEY GO AS FAR AS POSSIBLEMEANS THAT WE WOULD RATHER DOIT IN THE DAY.

>>> DO YOU GET MORE DONE,THOUGH, AT NIGHT, NOT HAVINGSO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WAY?

>> THAT'S TRUE.AND THAT'S ALSO A VERYIMPORTANT FACTOR.

>> LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT,YOU HAD MENTIONED THE SIXBRIDGES THAT ARE KIND OFGROUPED TOGETHER.ONE OF THE LESSONS THAT VTRANHAD MENTIONED THAT THEYLEARNED AFTER IRENE WAS THATFULL CLOSURES, GET IN, GETTHIS PROJECT DONE WASSING THATTHEY REALLY TOOK AWAY FROMTHIS.IS THIS SOMETHING THAT WE WILLSEE IN THE FUTURE OR WAS THISBECAUSE WE WERE IN A STATE OFEMERGENCY?

>> WE HAVE THREE OF THESEBRIDGES, IF NOT FOUR THAT IMENTIONED ARE BEING DONE UNDERTHE ACCELERATED BRIDGEREGIMEN.

>> FULL CLOSURE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.WE HAVE ONE NOW, THIS IS THESTART OF THIS PROJECT ON ROUTE125 IN EAST MIDDLEBURY, SANDHILLHILL BRIDGE, THERE IS A --SANDHILL BRIDGE, A 19-MILEDETOUR AROUND 125 USING 73.WHEN THAT'S COMPLETED WE'LLSTART THE BRIDGES ON 73.AND BY CLOSING, WE CAN GETTHESE BRIDGES DONE IN A MATTEROF -- ANYWHERE FROM TWO TOFIVE OR SIX WEEKS, AS OPPOSEDTO SEVERAL MONTHS.BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUYEXTRA RIGHT-OF-WAY, YOU DON'THAVE TO PUT IN, YOU KNOW,TEMPORARY BRIDGE ON SOMEBODY'SPROPERTY AND DO ALL ALLNEGOTIATION NECESSARY WITHTHAT.YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE THELEVEL OF TRAFFIC CONTROL.YOU CAN DO MORE COMPONENTPARTS OF YOUR CONSTRUCTIONPROCESS CONCURRENTLY.SO IT REALLY DOES MAKE IT LESSEXPENSIVE, AND IF YOU CAN GETTHROUGH THAT DETOUR PERIOD OFFOUR, FIVE, SIX WEEKS, THENIT'S GOING TO BE OPEN IN THECASE OF 125, IT WILL BE OPENFOR THE TOURIST SEASON, ANDTHAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TOPEOPLE.

>> I WILL TAKE THAT KIND OFONE STEP FURTHER, BECAUSE ITHINK, YOU KNOW, VERMONT SETTHE STANDARD AFTER IRENE TOREALLY GET WORK DONE.LET'S TALK ABOUT ROAD REPAIRSWITH THAT.BECAUSE YOU GO BACK TOPOTHOLES, AND YOU ARE LIKE,ALL RIGHT, LET'S GET IT DONE,EASIER SAY THAN DONE.

>> MM-HMM.IT IS.THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS, ITHINK, THAT WE HAD THIS YEARWAS SO MANY POTHOLES OPENED UPMIDWINTER, AND YOU HAVE TO PUTCOLD PATCH IN THEM, AND ITDOESN'T LAST, IN SOME CASES ITCAN LAST DAYS.SO PART OF THIS QUICK FIX '14WAS THE PURCHASE OF FOURTOABLE HOT MIX -- TOWABLE HOTMIX MACHINES THAT WE WILL USENEXT WINTER AND BE DEPLOYED INTHE FOUR REGIONS OF THE STATETO MAKE SURE WE CAN USE A HOTMIX APPLICATION EVEN IN THEDEAD OF WINTER.

>> REALLY.EXPLAIN HAUGH THAT WORKS --HOW THAT WORKS.HAVING GROWN UP HERE, COLDPATCH WAS THE ONLY THING GOINGIN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER.

>> THAT'S RIGHT, BECAUSE THEASPHALT PLANTS ARE CLOSED.

>> THIS IS A MOBILE ASPHALTPLANT?

>> EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.IT MAKES A SMALL AMOUNT OF HOTMIX THAT CAN BE TAKEN OUT ANDDO THE REPAIRS NECESSARY THATWILL LAST LONGER THAN THE COLDPATCH, AND THAT SHOULD MAKENEXT WINTER'S CONDITIONS, NOMATTER WHAT KIND OF WINTER WEHAVE BETTER THAN THISWINTER'S.

>> HOW DID WE DO THIS WINTERAS FAR AS BUDGETS GO, AND THENTHE NUMBER OF FOLKS OUT ON THEROAD, WAS IT A PARTICULARLYBAD YEAR?

>> OH, YEAH.YOU KNOW, IT'S THE WORST THATI'VE SEEN.IT STARTLED EARLY, WE HAD OURFIRST PLOWABLE SNOW IN OCTOBEROF 2013, AND IT REALLY DIDN'TSTOP.SO THE COLD TEMPERATURES CAMEAND STAYED WITH US, AND THEFROST WENT DEEP INTO THEGROUND.WE HAD MORE HEEFG THIS YEARTHAN WE'VE SEEN THAT CREATESCRACKS, AND OF COURSE THATALLOWS WATER IN -- HEAVINGTHAT CREATES POTHOLES.IT WAS QUITE A YEAR.I KNOW IT WAS THE SAMEEXPERIENCE FOR TOWN AND LOCALBUDGETS AS WELL.SO WE'RE ALL KIND OFSCRAMBLING TO CATCH UP.

>> WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVERYBODY.

>>> WE ARE TALKINGTRANSPORTATION THIS MORNING,WITH SECRETARY BRIAN SEARLES.

>> AND MR. SECRETARY, I THINKWE'VE COVERED IT, POTHOLES,KIND OF DRIVING PEOPLE CRAZYRIGHT NOW.PHOTOGRAPHER LANCE MCKENZIEWENT FOR A SPIN.

>> THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.

>> BIG CLUNG, YOU KNOW.A BIG KLUNK.

>> THE CAR WILL GO GOINGWOOPITY DOWN THE ROAD.

>> IT IS LIKE A BIG BOWL.LIKE A BIG BOWL.THAT'S THE BEST WAY TODESCRIBE IT.A DEEP BOWL.LIKE YOU ARE TAKING BEANS TOYOUR GRANDMOTHER.

>> THE RIM HAS BEEN DAMAGED BYHITTING A POTHOLE, AND IT'SOUT OF ROUND.IT DAMAGED THE RIM, AND IT GOTBENT.

>> FIRST THING TO DO IS JUSTTRY TO VOTE IT, SEE IF THERE'SANY MORE IN THE DISTANCE.BLOWING A TIRE, ACTUALLY HIT ANICE BIG POTHOLE.NEXT THING YOU KNOW, YOU AREON THE SIDE OF THE ROADCHANGING A TIRE.

>> I STAY AWAY FROM THEM ASMUCH AS I CAN.

>> WHAM, YOU HIT THE POTHOLE.EVERYTHING UP HERE, THE TYROD,THE AXLE, THE WHEEL BEARING,THE STRUT, IT IS ALL GETTINGJARRED.

>> BITE THE BULLET AND HIT IT.

>> THE BACK EDGE IS FALLINGOFF.

>> SO IT IS P PUT UNDER -- PUTUNDER A VERY INTENSIVE STRAIN,AND THAT'S WHERE YOU CANHAVE -- I CALL IT CATASTROPHICBREAKDOWN.

>> DODGING POTHOLE SEASON.

>> A NEW SEASON IN VERMONT.

>> IT IS A NEW SEASON.IF YOU FOLKS TAKE IT INSTRIDE, EXPECT THIS THIS TIMEOF YEAR?

>> I THINK SO.BUT IT SURE WOULD BE GOOD IFWE DIDN'T HAVE TO.YOU KNOW, WE ARE ALWAYS TRYINGTO MINIMIZE THAT, AND THISYEAR WAS BAD.I THINK WE ALL CAN IDENTIFYTHE SOUNDS WE JUST HEARD ANDPICTURES WE SAW.YOU KNOW, PART OF IT IS JUSTLIVING IN THE NORTH COUNTRY,AND IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.THERE'S A PERIOD OF TIMEBETWEEN WHEN THE POTHOLESFORMED AND THE FIX THAT PEOPLEARE VULNERABLE.WE TRY TO GET TO THEM AS FASTAS WE CAN, BUT THIS WAS ATOUGH YEAR.

>> I MAKE THE DRIVE DOWN ROUTE2 A LOT OVER THE NORTHEASTKINGDOM, AND PEOPLE TALKINGABOUT DODGING THOSE POTHOLES.THEY KIND OF DO CREATEDANGEROUS SITUATIONS ON OURROADS.FOR SOME OF THOSE MAIN ROADS,WHEN SHOULD WE EXPECT THOSEHOLES TO BE FILLED?

>> THE WORK IS GOING ON NOW.THERE'S MORE OF IT THAN USUAL.BUT CERTAINLY A QUICK FIX 14IS DESIGNED TO RUN OUT OF, YOUKNOW, SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS, THECAPITAL PROGRAM HOPEFULLY WILLRUN DEEP INTO THE FALL, PAVINGPROGRAM GENERALLY ENDS INEARLY TO MID-NOVEMBER WHEN THEPLANTS CLOSE, AND HOPEFULLYWE'LL HAVE A NICE MILD WINTERTHAT DOESN'T CONTRIBUTE TOOMUCH TO PROBLEMS NEXT YEAR.

>> YOU MENTIONED THAT YOUWOULD LIKE TO SEE ALL OF THISDONE.IT OF COURSE TAKES A LOT OFMONEY.HOW ARE WE DOING ON FEDERALFUNDS COMING INTO THE STATE?

>> WE ARE DOING FINE AT THEMOMENT.VERMONT HAS BENEFITED FROM AGOOD FORMULA OVER THE LASTSEVERAL YEARS.THE PROBLEM IS A NATIONALPROBLEM.THAT IS THE SOURCE OF OURFEDERAL FUNDS PARTICULARLY FORROADS AND BRIDGES IS SOMETHINGCALLED THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND.HIGHWAY TRUST FUND IS FUELEDLARGELY BY THE FEDERAL GASTAX.THAT HASN'T BEEN RAISED INMORE THAN TWENTY YEARS.WE'VE LOST ABOUT 40% OF OURBUYING POWER.SO YOU CAN DO THE MATH, ANDYOU KNOW THAT IT IS BASICALLYSPENDING, THERE'S MORE GOINGOUT THAN COMING IN.PEOPLE ARE DRIVING LESS ANDDRIVING MORE EFFICIENT CARS.SO THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND WILLRUN OUT OF MONEY IF P NOTPROVIDED MORE REVENUE IN LATEJULY OR AUGUST.WE ARE LITERALLY MONITORINGTHAT ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS,BECAUSE FOR ALL STATES,INCLUDING VERMONT, AS WE GOTHROUGH THE CONSTRUCTIONSEASON, OUR REIMBURSEMENTS FORWHAT WE SPEND COULD BE LESSAND LESS AS WE GO THROUGH THESUMMER, UNLESS CONGRESS FIXESTHE PROBLEM.WE ARE HEARING THAT THERE'S NODISAGREEMENT IN CONGRESS, THATTHEY HAVE TO DO A SHORT-TERMFIX ON THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUNDAT LEAST THROUGH THE END OFTHIS CALENDAR YEAR.IF THAT HAPPENS, WE WILL GETTHROUGH THIS CONSTRUCTIONSEASON, BUT WHAT'S REALLYNEEDED IS A LONG-TERM FIX TOTHE REVENUE STREAM FOR THATTRUST FUND, SO THAT ALL STATESCAN PLAN AND EXECUTE THECAPITAL PROGRAMS INTO THEFUTURE.

>> AND HAVE YOU HEARD FROM THECONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION THATTHOSE DISCUSSIONS ARE UNDERWAYFOR LONG-TERM FIX?

>> YES, OUR CONGRESSIONALDELEGATIONS VERY ACTIVIST ONTHIS.THEY ARE INVOLVED IN THEDISCUSSIONS.THEY ARE NOT PART OF THEPROBLEM, THEY UNDERSTAND THISPERFECTLY WELL, AND ARE TRYINGTO PULL PEOPLE TOGETHER TOFIGURES THIS PROBLEM -- FIXTHIS PROBLEM, BUT, YOU KNOW,THERE ARE SOME, YOU KNOW,BUDGET HAWKS IN CONGRESS THATARE NOT SEEING THIS AS THELEVEL OF PROBLEM THAT I THINKTHEY SHOULD, OTHERWISE THEYWOULD HAVE FIXED THIS SOMETIME AGO.

>> WHEN WE TALK ABOUT MONEY,LET'S TALK QUICKLY ABOUTAIRPORTS.THE NEWPORT AIRPORT GETTING ANINFUSION OF MONEY.AT A TIME WHEN IT LOOKSUNCERTAIN HOW MUCH WILL BEDEVELOPED UP THERE, IS IT THERIGHT THYME TO BE PUTTING --THE RIGHT TIME TO BE PUTTING ALOT OF MONEY INTO REGIONALAIRPORT?

>> YEAH, IT IS.AS A MATTER OF FACT, THAT'SNOT THE ONLY AIRPORT THAT'SGETTING AN INFUSION OF PRIVATEFUNDS.THAT'S HAPPENING IN STOWE ANDMORRISVILLE AS WELL.WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO WITHOUR STATE AIRPORTS IS MAKETHEM LESS AND LESS DEPENDENTON REGULAR BUDGET FUNDS, ANDIN OTHER WORDS, EARNING THEIROWN WAY.SO NOTWITHSTANDING HOW MUCHMORE DEVELOPMENT HAPPENS INTHE NEWPORT AREA, THERE'SCERTAINLY BEEN ENOUGH ALREADYSO THAT A LOW-PERFORMINGAIRPORT THAT CAN HANDLE JETTRAFFIC, FOR INSTANCE, IS ANABSOLUTE NECESSITY THERE.AT STOWE-MORRISVILLE YOU HAVETHE SAME DYNAMIC WITH THE SKIAREAS AND SO ON.WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO GETPEOPLE IN AND OUT OF THATAIRPORT, AND WE HAVE A PRIVATEPARTNER THAT'S WILLING TO DOSOME TERMINAL WORK, AND SOMELIGHTING WORK, AND SO ON ATTHAT AIRPORT.IT'S THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE.WE WANT THESE AIRPORTS TO BECONTRIBUTORS TO THE OVERALLECONOMY.CERTAINLY THE REGIONAL ECONOMYWHERE THEY ARE LOCATED, ANDTHEY ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED ASKIND OF CLUBS FOR PRIVATEPILOTS.THAT'S FINE, BUT WE WANT THEMTO DO MORE THAN THAT.

>> TRANSPORTATION SECRETARYBRIAN SEARLES, THANK YOU FORJOINING US THIS MORNING.WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOURTIME.

>> THANK YOU.ENJOYED IT.

>> THANKS FOR WATCHING ATHOME, EVERYONE.SEE YOU SOON.Captioning provided by Caption Associates, LLC captionassociates.com


  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:02 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:02:59 GMT
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
  • Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:09:17 GMT
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
  • Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Friday, August 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-08-22 18:49:31 GMT
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
  • Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:12:45 GMT
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
  • NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:39:59 GMT
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
  • Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:11:41 GMT
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
  • Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:13:34 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
  • Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:29:05 GMT
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.