No Paving for ‘Bumpy’ Route 113
Vt. Pushes Back Plans for Eight Mile Stretch to 2015
Cindy Carbee rings up a customer at the Village Store in Thetford, Vt., on April 10, 2014. Rough sections of Route 113 in Thetford will not be repaved until 2015. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »
Jeff Cadorette puts a leash on his dog Henry in Thetford, Vt., on April 10, 2014. Cadorette drives a truck delivering Hershey's Ice Cream to stores along Route 113. Cadorette was stopping along Thetford Hill to feed his dog and give him a few minutes out of the truck. He remarked that Vermont roads can be pretty bumpy. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »
Vehicles move along Route 113 in Thetford, Vt., on April 10, 2014. Rough sections of the road are now scheduled to be repaved in 2015. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »
Thetford Center — Jeff Cadorette has been driving on Route 113 for three years as part of his route delivering Hershey’s ice cream to stores every week.
It’s not the worst road he travels on, he said, but “it’s pretty bumpy.”
“Seems all too common in Vermont ... all sorts of bumpy roads,” Cadorette said Thursday, as he took a break at a pull-off on Route 113 to stretch his legs and give his dog, Henry, some food and water.
And bumpy it will stay — for now. State Rep. Jim Masland, D-Thetford, said a paving project from the Route 113 intersection with Route 244 to the New Hampshire border planned for this summer will be delayed until at least 2015.
“It’s pretty bad and it’s going to get worse,” Masland said.
The state has repaved other sections of the 113 in recent years, connecting Chelsea and Vershire, and down to West Fairlee. A particularly beat-up portion of Thetford Hill was given a new layer about two years ago, but that fix was “not intended to be a final solution,” Masland said.
“It is the issue of funding,” Masland said. “We have only so much money to spend. ... (State transportation officials) look at all the projects that are coming through … and they basically compare costs, need and available money, and because this is a fairly expensive project to do what they proposed to do — a lot of rebuilding — they pushed it out one more year.”
Finishing the nearly 8-mile stretch of Route 113 from Route 244 to New Hampshire is expected to cost $7.68 million, according to information from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, but only $92,509 has been spent through fiscal year 2013.
Not everybody thinks that money is worth it. Cindy Carbee, who works at the Village Store, said “it is what it is” when it comes to bumpy, torn-up roads in New England.
“It’s not going to last,” she said of repaving proposals. “It’s a lot of money down the drain.”
But others, like Lynda MacDonald, who lives off Route 113 not far from the store, said she was glad that the state patched up Thetford Hill a couple years ago, as she had been “dreading” driving that section when she first moved into her apartment.
The road still isn’t perfect, but to her, patching up the hill has made the difference.
“The summer that I moved in that hill was horrendous, and I was just so happy (when a new layer was added),” she said.
On the road Thursday, drivers leaned on their brakes as they approached a significant frost heave between Interstate 91 and Route 5. In the opposite direction, vehicles straddled the side of the road to avoid gigantic potholes in front of E.C. Brown’s Nursery.
Elsewhere in the Upper Valley, Randolph Town Manager Mel Adams said two state roads in town — Route 12 and Route 66 — had been slated for paving projects this year but were pushed back until 2015.
“We’re accustomed to it,” Adams said. “We’ve waited a long time for the paving plan, so if it happens to take another year we’ll roll with it, but it is disconcerting because the road is such in poor condition,” he said, referring to Route 12.
Route 66 hasn’t been paved in about a quarter-century, he said, and “you have the roller coaster sort of affairs all the way down” from the highway, calling the situation “bad for business.”
“Some of that will come back up as the frost settles, but the potholes won’t (go away),” he said.
Maggie Cassidy can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3220.