GEORGIA — The holidays brought good news for local drivers and for workers who have been working to rebuild the Exit 18 southbound ramp after a severe storm on Halloween caused the culvert beneath the ramp to fail.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) reopened the rebuilt ramp on Monday.
“The contractor has made surprising progress despite the weather this week,” said VTrans spokesperson Amy Tatko. “We’re feeling pretty confident it will be open for Christmas.”
The failure of the culvert came as a complete surprise. Following the storm, VTrans staff were investigating a sinkhole which had formed alongside the ramp when a truck went across the ramp, causing it to shake. VTrans immediately closed the ramp, which was unsafe.
Water had undermined the culvert. As repair crews dug into the ground, they discovered the damage had been more extensive than anticipated and VTrans decided to completely replace the culvert rather than simply make repairs.
The nearly completed work is a “100-year fix,” said Tatko.
The most time consuming part was removing the fill around the culvert from the site and then, once the culvert was replaced, bringing it back, Tatko explained.
Crews worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week to complete the work. “It’s been pretty phenomenal progress,” said Tatko, especially for a project that was completely unanticipated. “We were able to do it in a matter of weeks.”