Hartland Considers Adding Parking at Three Corners

Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hartland — The Selectboard is considering inquiring about the possibility of altering the Three Corners intersection reconstruction plan to create additional parking for the town.

Selectboard Chairman Gordon Richardson said the board discussed the issue at its meeting this week but did not make a decision.

Under the current plans, the strip of road that carries south and northbound motorists on Route 5 coming from or going to Windsor will be eliminated and replaced with green space, which might not be the optimal use, Richardson said.

“It might be better for parking,” he said.

Richardson said the board is considering asking the engineer for a conceptual plan for parking, which he said the town needs for the area around the intersection. But they don’t want to delay the project, Richardson said. Though state permits have not been issued, the project is expected to be put out to bid in January.

“We are so far into this, not sure we can pull it off,” he said.

Richardson said they have calculated that about nine parking diagonal spaces could be created, with the current northbound lane being the area for the vehicles and the southbound lane the space for backing out.

Underneath the pavement, he said, there is old concrete from an earlier roadway and it could cost as much to make the section green space as it would to have more parking.

“It could be quite a bit of expense to turn it to grass,” Richardson said.

The reconstruction of the intersection will eliminate confusing traffic flows for drivers heading north or south on Route 5 and south off on Route 12. Instead there will be a four-way intersection that will include Hartland-Quechee Road. Plans also call for the historic Civil War monument outside Damon Hall to be moved during construction.

In 2014, voters approved spending $450,000 to reconstruct the intersection.

Also last week, the board heard from a representative from the United States Postal Service on a plan to reopen a post office at Four Corners. Richardson said he asked for comments from the public on the concept and was searching for sites.

Kurtis Bullard, a real estate specialist with the postal service, previously said the post office would need at least 700 square feet of space and sufficient parking. If space in an existing building can’t be found, Bullard said, USPS would look at leasing land for a modular unit.

The previous post office — one of three in town — was shut down in late 2015 because of several safety and sanitation problems at the Route 12 location.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.