Council Reconsiders Vote on I-89 Corridor Study
During their meeting on May 3rd, the City Council revisited a prior vote related to recommendations to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) regarding upgrades to Interstate 89.
CCRPC is engaged in a two-year long study of improvements that could be made to the entire I-89 Corridor over its course through Chittenden County to improve safety, access and a variety of other criteria. The Commission has been looking to local communities where the Interstate is located to make recommendations on a list of potential improvements. As much of the most heavily trafficked and accessed sections of I-89 are in South Burlington the Commission has been highly solicitous of input from the City, through the City Council, on what infrastructure improvements should be the focus of their study.
During their meeting on April 19, the Council, by a 3-2 vote, approved recommending that CCRPC focus its study on a new interchange to be constructed at the intersection of I-89 and Hinesburg Road. This intersection, referred to as Exit 12 B, would likely also accompany improvements at the existing Exit 14.
During their meeting on May 3rd Councilor Tim Barritt, having voted in the majority on April 19, moved to reconsider the vote stating his preference would be to have CCRPC study both a new Exit 12 B as well as an upgrade to Exit 13 to make it a full interchange. The Council discussed the matter and heard input from various City Committees giving their perspectives on the two proposals. Prior to voting on a specific new recommendation City Manager Kevin Dorn suggested that the School Board would be interested in weighing in on an Exit 13 that would dump a large volume of interstate highway traffic at the foot of the Middle School/High School campus. He also raised concern about additional Dorset Street traffic accessing I-89 impacting the ability of emergency vehicle to leave and return to the Fire Station. The Council agreed this input is needed and so they deferred further action until a meeting with the School Board on the matter can be scheduled.