South Burlington road construction pushes traffic onto busy Route 7

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Farrell Street in South Burlington is pretty torn up. The popular commute cut-through has been closed to cars for about six weeks. A hassle for drivers who now have to fight with traffic on busy Shelburne Road.

"This road can carry seven- or eight-thousand cars a day. That traffic has to get displaced somewhere," said Justin Rabidoux, the director of South Burlington Public Works.

Rabidoux gets it. They'd rather have this road open, too. But trying to manage one-way traffic would make the project take even longer. And it's a project they want to have done so city taxpayers can start saving money.

"We think in the long run this temporary disruption is well worth it financially for the city of South Burlington," Rabidoux said.

The $3.1 million project disconnects several South Burlington neighborhoods from Burlington's wastewater system. South Burlington pays Burlington about a quarter of a million dollars each year right now for that service. They'd rather not when their own treatment plant can handle the extra 80,000 gallons of wastewater a day.

And the county's water system will also get an extra backup. The Champlain Water District took the opportunity to connect two of its major water lines.

Aside from commuters, businesses will be happy to see Farrell Street reopened again. While businesses are open during construction, they say it's been harder for people to reach them.

"I know it's been really tough for Rev, the cycling gym, and also Klinger's because they have a constant flow of traffic," said Frank DeAngelis, who owns Close to Home at the corner of Farrell and Swift streets.

DeAngelis' business doesn't rely heavily on foot traffic but it's been a hassle for delivery trucks.

"I know they have to do what they're doing and I appreciate the hard work," DeAngelis said, "we'll be really happy when it's wrapped up."

The question commuters really want answered is when will Farrell Street reopen? Rabidoux says it will be back open to traffic the day before Thanksgiving. They'll be back out in the spring, though, to finish up the paving.