Construction resumes on Burlington’s Champlain Parkway after 30-plus years

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - After being stalled for decades and overcoming a recent roadblock, the Champlain Parkway project in Burlington is underway once again.

Workers began clearing the path for the new roadway on Tuesday, felling dozens of trees near Lakeside Avenue and by the old Sears Lane homeless encampment.

Construction was supposed to begin last week before a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order to an opposition group to the project. The restraining order was cleared on Friday and now construction will begin on the project that will ultimately provide a connection between Interstate 189 and run through the South End of the city.

The Burlington City Council fully supported a $45 million contract for the construction in the project that the city hopes will improve traffic flow, protect Lake Champlain and improve car, bike and pedestrian safety.

Residents say it’s time to move on with this project.

“The lawsuits are going back to the well again and again on issues that have been resolved and adjudicated and the issues there are legit but they’ve been heard, and I think at a certain point government needs to be able to move forward and do things that it has the support of people to be able to do,” said Bill Bryant, who lives in the South End.

The federal government is funding 95% of the long-stalled project once known as the Southern Connector. It is not scheduled to be finished until 2027.

Residents I spoke to say they really hope the road will help to alleviate the traffic in the South End and help spur more development down there, as well.

This first phase of construction will be through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., clearing the project’s right of way of trees and stumps between Lakeside and Home avenues.

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