The SWCRPC offers a wide range of transportation planning services for the Region based on our annual funding sources that typically include Transportation Planning Initiative, Safe Routes to School, municipal project management and other special studies. Our transportation program is based on VTrans’ Transportation Planning Initiative Manual and Guidebook , 19 V.S.A. §101 , and seeks to implement our Regional Transportation Plan. A significant amount of the transportation work done by SWCRPC is carried out through participation in Vermont’s Transportation Planning Initiative which is a collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), the eleven Vermont Regional Planning Commissions. The FFY 2016 TPI Work Program details all the work that will be carried out in Southern Windsor County in conjunction with this initiative. In November 2014 SWCRPC completed its update to the Regional Transportation Plan.
SWCRPC has a Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) that advises on regional transportation issues with representatives from each community in southern Windsor County, an ex-officio representative from VTrans and up to two “at-large” members. Part of their work includes an annual prioritization of regional transportation projects (click here for the 2016 priorities) which helps VTrans to prioritize their work across the state. More information about the TAC’s meetings, agendas and work can be found on their webpage.
In May 2016 VTrans unveiled its new “511” website – http://newengland511.org/ – which gives up-to-date travel information for state roads in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Information for interstates, US highways and state highways includes traffic incidents, roadwork, traffic speeds, condition cameras, road conditions, etc.
Projects around Southern Windsor County occurring this year (2016)
There are a number of upcoming major bridge and road construction projects due for the region or nearby. See below for basic information about these projects and contact Katharine for more information. (Table last updated 4/14/2016)
|Town||Project Type||Location Info||Notes|
|Chester||Class 1 Town Hwy Paving||Class 1 town highways (Main St and Depot St)||Construction late fall 2015 and spring 2016. More info|
|Windsor||Class 1 Town Hwy Paving||Class 1 town highways (Main St, Ascutney St and Union St)||Construction Spring/ Summer 2016. More info|
|Springfield||Class 1 Town Hwy Paving||Class 1 town highways (Main St and Chester Road)||Construction Spring/ Summer 2016. More info|
|Springfield and Charlestown||State Highway Bridge||Charlestown-Springfield Bridge (Cheshire Toll Bridge)||Construction will reduce traffic to one lane in either direction for approx 8 weeks and also include a 5 day complete closure to traffic. Construction April – June 2016. More info|
|Windsor and Cornish||State Highway Bridge||Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge||Work on abutments. Work either fall 2016 or 2017 (need low flow in river). No anticipated closure of bridge to traffic|
|Woodstock||State Highway Bridge||Br 24 on VT-106 in South Woodstock||Bridge closure for 21 days starting on May 16. More info|
Notes: ABC (Accelerated Bridge Construction Program)
Major Future Projects
|Town||Project Type||Construction Year||Location Info||Notes|
|Cavendish and Weathersfield||Paving||2017/2018||VT-131 from VT-106 to VT-103||Includes some ledge and slope work.|
|Ludlow||Town Highway Bridge||2017||Walker Bridge (25) on VT-103||ABC. Full bridge replacement. 4-6 week closure. More info|
|Chester, Cavendish, Ludlow, etc||Paving||2017 or 2018||VT-103 from Rockingham to Clarenden|
|Ludlow||State Bridge Deck Replacement||2017 or 2018||Bridge 99 on VT-100N (at intersection with VT-103)||Either full closure or alternating one-way traffic. More info|
|Cavendish||Town Highway Bridge||Unknown||Depot St Bridge (Br58) over Black River||Bridge closed Dec 2015. More info|
|Springfield and Rockingham||Paving||Unknown||US-5 from Rockingham to Old Connecticut River Road||Preliminary plans received by SWCRPC in April 2016|
How do bridges get designed and built?
For more information about the Accelerated Bridge Program (ABC), which VTrans is using on the majority of the upcoming bridge projects in the region, click here. There are also videos about some recent projects – including VT-131 Bridge 1 in Cavendish, and I-91 bridges over VT-44 in Windsor.
Way To Go is a challenge for commuters to find alternatives to driving alone to work. Started in Chittenden County in 1994, the Vermont event has expanded geographically to encompass participants in 250 municipalities throughout the state in 2012. More information about the statewide challenge can be found at http://www.waytogovt.org/.
What is happening this year?
This year’s commuter challenge is 2 weeks long – September 26 – October 7, 2016. If you are interested in getting your business involved in this year’s event, please contact Katharine.
How can I benefit from finding an alternative way to commute?
There are several advantages to not travelling alone in your car/ truck, including:
- Reducing the amount you have to spend on gas
- Reducing transportation pollution
- Improving your health
What commuting options are there in the area?
Commuting options in the southern Windsor County area include:
- Taking the Bus – Try Southeast Vermont Transit’s in town and out-of-town routes with The Current. Also check out their Park and Ride options from the I-91 exit parking lots.
- Carpool/Rideshare – Talk to colleagues and neighbors, or check out Go Vermont’s Carpool database and the Upper Valley Rideshare list. Both formal programs include guaranteed ride home options.
- Bike – In addition to cycling along the roads you could also try out the Toonerville Trail that connects Springfield to Charlestown.
- Walking – There are several sidewalk networks in town and village centers that connect homes, schools, businesses and shops.
SWCRPC has three state park and rides which serve the region on I-91 at exits 7 (Springfield), 8 (Ascutney) and 9 (Hartland/ Windsor) and have commuter transit connections. There is also a park and ride lot in Ludlow – at the Fire Department. SWCRPC monitors the usage of these lots monthly – see our 2016 Annual Report Park and Ride Count Report. SWCRPC has also completed needs assessments for park and ride lots in the region (existing and new) – 2010 Park and Ride Needs Assessment and the 2012 Addendum.
Vermont Complete Streets Guidebook
The new Vermont Complete Streets Guidebook was released in November 2012 and is available at http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit/target.aspx#streets. For more information about the Complete Streets Act which took effect on July 1, 2011, check out our Vermont’s Complete Streets Law Technical Bulletin.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School is a national program encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school.
Vermont Safe Routes to School seeks to make it easier for all Vermont children, including those with disabilities, to enjoy the outdoors and become more physically active by providing funding for infrastructure improvements, safety education, and enforcement of safety laws. In Southern Windsor County, Windsor and Weathersfield have participated in the Safe Routes to Schools program. In July 2011 VTrans launched a Safe Routes to School Resource (SRTS) Center to distribute non-infrastructure SRTS support to all interested schools. More information is available at http://saferoutes.vermont.gov/.
Every year the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and SWCRPC monitor traffic along a variety of roads in the region. The RPC traffic count program is intended to supplement VTrans’ traffic data in the Region. It includes counts at 19 locations across the region on a bi-annual basis. The RPC also performs traffic counts at the request of towns on a limited first-come, first-served basis. Data can be collected on volume, vehicle classification and speed. For more information about the traffic counts see the reports below and contact Katharine.
- 2015 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2014 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2013 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2012 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2011 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2010 Regional Traffic Count Report
- 2009 Regional Traffic Count Report
- Traffic Count Location History 2003-2013
- Safe Routes To School Traffic Counts
- Quick Guide to Traffic Terms
Traffic count data is also collated and collected by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). Traffic Count reports are published online in two locations (both state and SWCRPC counts):
- VTrans Traffic Research Publications (http://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/technical-services/traffic).
- Most count locations have basic traffic count data available in the “Automatic Traffic Recorder Station History” reports
- Some count locations also have information about what type of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks) used the roads (“Automatic Vehicle Classification Reports”).
- One of the counters in Ludlow is permanently collecting data (P6Y209 – on Okemo Mountain Road 300ft from VT103). Data for this site is available in the “Red Book” (2014 Continuous Traffic Counter Grouping Study and Regression Analysis Report).
- VTrans Traffic Data Management System (http://vtrans.ms2soft.com)
- Counts from all locations are available.
- The database is searchable and has an online map.
- Includes summary data (eg AADT), as well as data for individual days and hours.
- Includes traffic counts, speed data and turning movement counts
Setting speed limits
For more information about setting speed limits/ controlling speed on your roadways, check out this interesting video by Maine Dept of Transportation.
All SWCRPC bridge and culvert inventories are uploaded at http://vtculverts.org and are visible to all without needing to log in – maps, culvert sizes, materials and condition.
The following are some general resources related to road maintenance and budgeting from Regional Road Foreman Meetings:
- Pavement Preservation Presentation by Dan Patenaude (March 2015)
- Crack Sealing Presentation by Art Baker (March 2015)
- Equivalent Annual Cost Method – Article, NHDOT 2013 costs (March 2015)
- Remaining Service Life Method – Network Evaluation sheet for Worst First (pdf) and Progressive Management (pdf) (xls) (March 2015)
- Cost Effective Road Maintenance Presentation by Everett Hammond (March 2015)
- Paving Contracts Presentation Notes (October 2015)
- VTrans Resources for Paving (August 2016) – Class 2 Paving Guide, Paving Check List, Template Bid Form, Template Request for Bids, Template Scope of Work (Contact Ted Domey with questions)
Some other helpful resources:
- List of transportation-related funding opportunities (last updated December 2015) – summary of the most relevant ones for the towns of Southern Windsor County
- List of Water Quality Grants (last updated February 2016 by ANR)
- Capital budgeting presentation to the Regional TAC – August 2014
As part of the Act, Vermont Towns will be required to complete a Municipal Roads Permit. As of December 2015, few details are known about what this will look like, but below are the resources we have, and we will be organizing outreach meetings in early 2016 to provide more information:
- Timeline of Deliverables for the Transportation Sector
- Clean Water Act and Municipal Transportation Fact Sheet
- Water Quality Grants
For more information about the Clean Water Act and its implementation (not just transportation related!) in Southern Windsor County, see http://swcrpc.org/water-quality-planning/
- High Risk Rural Roads Program
- Regional Highway Safety Forum – May 2015
- Identification of areas with safety concerns in 2014 Regional Transportation Plan Update
The following resources could be useful for people looking for crash and safety information:
You can download a town maps that highlight the GREEN/ORANGE/RED streams that will need larger-sized culverts here (select your town in the dropdown for “Stream Watershed Sizes”). These may need to be bigger than your town road and bridge standards recommend to meet the new stream alteration general permit. They may not need hydraulic studies but should be sized by your Stream Alteration Engineer. The Stream Alteration Engineer districts have changed on 12/1/14 – and all our region is covered by Todd Menees.
- Low cost paving solutions and budgeting
- Pavement Preservation Presentation by Dan Patenaude
- Crack Sealing Presentation by Art Baker (March 2015)
- Equivalent Annual Cost Method – Article, NHDOT 2013 costs
- Remaining Service Life Method – Network Evaluation sheet for Worst First (pdf) and Progressive Management (pdf) (xls)
- Cost Effective Road Maintenance Presentation by Everett Hammond
- Paving Contracts –
- Sign standards, inventories and ordering
- Hazardous materials awareness
- Road safety
- Town Road and Bridge Standards
- Winter road maintenance and salt-brine
- Town Right of Way Issues
- Hazard mitigation grant opportunities
- Town mutual aid agreements
- Invasive Species, including Japanese Knotweed and Best Management Practices
- Complete Streets
- Posting Road Weight Limits, including model permit
- Vermont Online Bridge and Culvert Inventory Tool (VOBCIT) – www.vtculverts.org