On my 3 mile trip through Woodstock to the MISys offices yesterday, I started counting dump trucks -- ranging from small 7-yard models up to the big 30-yard haulers. Count: 23 trucks in just 18 minutes. Each of these is loaded with rocks and gravel being used to fill in the massive ditches that used to be roads.
Today we learned that the State of Vermont has decied to allow the removal of material from the Ottauqhechee Riverbed. What used to be a lazy stream with no more than a few inches of running water in mid-summer turned into a swift-running river 25 feet deep and 4-times wider that it had been the day before Irene struck. Now that the water has receded, the wide, shallow riverbed resembles the surface of the moon.
Topsoil on one of the few remaining cornields is being pushed back and piled up in preparation for the contruction of a rock crushing plant. In a few days, a giant machine will be delievered and set up in the old cornfield. Boulders from the riverbed will be fed into one end and crushed rock from the other end of the machine will be loaded into dump trucks and carted off to wherever a few more yards of fill are needed. Sourcing crushed rock locally will spare each truck a 30 mile round trip.
Immense progress is being made restoring Vermont's roads and bridges. Good thing, too, since the fall tourism season will soon be upon us. Now, more than ever. we need to get the word out that Vermont is open for business. Our friends and neighbors run the restaurants, hotels, country inns, B&Bs, and other tourist attractions. They are working hard, despite great personal loss, to get ready for visitors from out of state. They desparately need your business. Won't you come see for yourself that we are still one of the prettiest towns in America? See http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2011/09/02/letter-to-tourists-come-back-to-vermont/