Judge sides with VTrans on Exit 16 improvements

Published: Jun. 6, 2018 at 8:58 AM EDT
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A Vermont judge has sided with VTrans to allow a major Colchester road project to go forward, clearing the way for Costco to eventually begin pumping gas.

The water quality case was brought by the Conservation Law Foundation and Maplefields gas station owner Skip Vallee to try to block VTrans' $10 million makeover of the I-89 Exit 16 in Colchester. They argued in court that state regulators erred in giving the project a stormwater permit, saying pollution from runoff would harm a nearby stream and Lake Champlain.

Traffic improvements in that diverging diamond project are required as part of Costco's permit to operate a gas station. Costco, which already has its other required permits, was so confident that it would prevail, it built the gas station last year.

VTrans officials have not said when they intend to begin the complex project, so Costco customers will likely have to continue the long wait to fill up at the pump.