Route 7 Georgia

A car drives down Route 7 in Georgia on Wednesday.

GEORGIA — Route 7 in Georgia has a penchant for potholes, and the state Agency of Transportation (AOT) has dollars to spend.

That’s why the highway from Georgia to St. Albans City is getting paved a little early this year: an interstate paving project originally slated to happen in 2022 is happening this summer instead.

“Because of budget uncertainty, it was brought back to 2021,” said AOT Project Manager Brendan Kipp on Wednesday. “Projects can be variable for paving depending on how much the project is estimated to cost ... You might have a couple projects that might slide a few years.”

The paving project will stretch from the Georgia and Milton town line to the Town of St. Albans and City of St. Albans line, approximately 8 ½ miles along Route 7.

“(People complain about it) all the time,” said Georgia Town Clerk Cheryl Letourneau. “They say what a mess it is. It’s difficult to drive on. It’s dangerous to drive on. There’s lots of excitement that it’s going to be paved.”

Kipp assured smoother roads that no longer rise to meet their drivers.

“We’ll hit all the bad spots,” Kipp said.

The road will be resurfaced and have a brand new guardrail installed, new painting and get a new center rumble strip, according to a release from AOT. Kipp said they also intend to minimize an island by the library that is currently not allowing left turns.

After the work is done though, Kipp said all northbound traffic will finally be able to hang a left into the library.

The push from 2022 to this summer was largely influenced by a push to complete fiscal year spending, Kipp said. The project should cost around $3 million to complete along the 8.6 miles.

Paving should begin in the summer and end in the fall, and will likely fall to local contractors for labor contracts. Traffic will be one-way alternate traffic during non-peak hours.

Following that project, AOT will be targeting Vermont Route 120 from Sheldon to Franklin, to be constructed and built by July 1 of this year.

“By late April early May, (crews) will be mobilized,” Kipp said.

One of the usual suspects to be targeted on those roads are the notorious frost heaves, which Kipp said they fully intend to remediate.

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