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1st phase of Burlington bike path-rail track swap almost finished

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 2:52 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Work to realign the railway along a busy section of the Burlington Bike Path is underway, and city officials say the first phase is almost finished.

The complicated project eliminates the unsafe track crossovers between the waterfront and Perkins Pier ahead of Amtrak’s arrival in 2022.

“I think the design of the realignment and what the city will gain out of it is cause for celebration,” said Parks Project Coordinator Jon Adams-Kollitz of Burlington, Parks, Recreation and Waterfront.

City officials say the overarching project contains several projects within it. The two big ones focus on the bike path and rail track relocation. So, while Burlington officials put the final touches on the bike path design, the Vermont Transportation Agency and the Vermont Rail System are refining the rail realignment. This winter, the state will put the entire project out to bid, and a contractor will execute both plans as one.

“It’s going rather smoothly considering the two kind of different projects and the small space that the projects are taking up in terms of footprint. It’s a lot to consider,” said Parks Comprehensive Planner Sophie Sauve of Burlington, Parks, Recreation and Waterfront.

This year, a construction team relocated underground utilities, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what they need to accomplish next construction season. The heart of the project will happen in April or May. That’s when they will lay down railroad track and pave the bike path.

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