T Intersection For Bikers

EAST BURKE-For the project that has been going on for two years now, it's finally found its bidder to invest in the much needed improvements to the start of Darling Hill Road.

"The overall scope of the project is to reconstruct the roadway surface of Darling Hill Road, the main purpose though is to put in a bike lane," East Burke Select Board member Christine Emmons says in an interview. The East Burke Select Board has been trying to invest in making the entryway to Darling Hill more safer for bikers, and oncoming cars.

"It's a steep, very narrow winding road that's a main passageway for bikers. It is just really unsafe to have the conflicting modes of transportation, the cars, the bikes, people walking, occasionally a horse," Emmons explains to readers. East Burke applied for a Northern Borders Regional Commission grant earlier in the project process to jump start the plan "But we were only eligible for the grant because we were collaborating with Kingdom Trails," Emmons said.

Kingdom trails contribution to the project was purchasing two parts of land, off of East Darling Hill Road. This was so that the organization can create two off road bike trials, purchasing one with the grant. As well as purchasing the other with their own funding, counting as a grant match.

While East Burke Select Board already has an engineering company working with them, they needed another company to construct the project. Ten bidders responded to the group's proposal, and the select board decided to go with the lowest bid. "There was an engineering estimate that we started out with, and ten bidders was fantastic. They put in a bid for how much they thought they could construct the project for," Emmons goes on to say.

The lucky winner of the project was a company called Dale E. Percy Inc. from Stowe. Even though the select board chose the lowest bidder, they feel pretty confident in their decision. "They are a very reputable company, they have worked on a lot of big projects. They have a very good reputation," Emmons says with confidence.

Emmons explains that the difficult part of the project was getting landowners permission to allow the project to move forward. "We cannot complete the construction without affecting their land." She says it all happened within a couple months, and would have moved quicker if not for covid.

Emmons says that the amount of bidders that wanted to help with the project was very exciting. The group did not anticipate having that reaction from companies in the area, but are grateful to them all. The intersection at this point is a Y intersection, the group is looking to change it into a T intersection. Construction will commence in the early spring of 2021, and everything should be completed by September.