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Greenville

High Street work well underway

Crew laying metal sheets to help stabilize slope that collapsed in 2010 slide

  • Construction on High Street, which has been closed to through traffic for several years now since a landslide in 2010, is well under way.
  • greenville, mudslide
  • Construction on High Street, which has been closed to through traffic for several years now since a landslide in 2010, is well under way.
  • Construction on High Street, which has been closed to through traffic for several years now since a landslide in 2010, is well under way.
  • Construction on High Street, which has been closed to through traffic for several years now since a landslide in 2010, is well under way.
  • Construction on High Street, which has been closed to through traffic for several years now since a landslide in 2010, is well under way.

GREENVILLE — Construction to open up High Street to through traffic is well underway, and traffic should be able to pass on the road once again by the end of December.

High Street has been closed to traffic since a landslide in 2010 left the slope unstable. During the town’s 2012 Town Meeting, residents approved $1.5 million in state and federal funds to fix the slope. In a special Town Meeting held in July, residents further approved another $350,000, after the engineering phase of the project and construction bids came in over the mark. The town will be reimbursed 75 percent of the cost by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Prior to July’s special Town Meeting, the Select Board had also discussed the possibility of taking steps to stabilize other portions of the slope on High Street, to prevent other mudslides in the future. However, there was concern that FEMA would not cover a portion of the cost since stabilizing the rest of High Street was not in the original scope of the project. The board, fearful that voters might be hesitant to approve the remaining funds to reopen High Street, decided to revisit the issue at a later date.

The town has been on schedule to finish the work before the end of the year, both to prevent snow and frozen ground from delaying the work, and to accommodate deadlines that came attached with federal aid and town approved funds. According to Travis Saucier, the Project Manager for the High Street project, that is a goal that T Buck Construction should be able to meet.

“When are we going to be done is the magic question,” said Saucier. “Our aim is to be done by Christmas. The longer we’re there, the worse it is for us and the community. No one loves living in a construction zone. The community has been really great, though — everyone from the local people to the town management. It seems like the general consensus is ‘Thank God you guys are getting it done.’”

There were some initial delays, Saucier said, while completing the pile driving, because of the difficult soil, but now the construction is well underway. The construction company has driven metal sheets down 60 feet from the top of the slope to the river. They are in the process of pulling the bank up to the sheets.

“It’s the best slope stabilization there is,” said Saucier of the process.

In addition to the sheets creating a slope stabilizing effect, the construction will also reduce the grade of the slope, which should also help prevent another landslide from happening in the future, he said.

When the construction is done, the road will be open to traffic and passable, said Saucier, but not completely finished. There will be a few details which will not be able to be completed until spring, such as paving the road and planting grass and shrubbery on the side of the road.

“It will be open, and no better or worse than it is now,” said Saucier. “In the spring, we’ll come back to put a curbline and put some trees along the bank.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on twitter @AshleySaari.

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