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Local representatives and select boards hoping to get Route 11 between Londonderry and Chester repaired for years must have felt a bit like Charlie Brown.
Autumn after autumn, in the Peanuts comic strip, he tried to kick a football held by his nemesis, Lucy. And no matter how solemnly she promised to keep the ball in place, Lucy always plucked it away at the last moment sending Charlie Brown flat on his back with an “Augh!”
After receiving assurances from VTrans that the road would be repaired for a number of years, only to see each of those promises pulled away at the last moment, the Andover Select Board called on Gov. Phil Scott to get the job done. In his letter to Scott, board chair Red Johnson noted that as one of the state’s few east-west corridors, it is a major conduit for gasoline trucks from the Port of Albany and that the road had become an urgent safety issue.
In an April 2 letter to the board, Gov. Scott thanked them for their concern writing, “I’ve been told the schedule for this project has changed in recent years due to budget constraints … I have asked VTrans to ensure there is an open line of communication with the communities and the region as to future expectations for this corridor.”
Gov. Scott went on to say that there is a pavement rehabilitation scheduled for that portion of the road in the summer of 2019 and, teeing up the football, Scott pointed to another $75 million in “paving investments” scheduled for area in the next five years.
But it looks like Johnson is no Charlie Brown. In an April 13 letter to Scott, Johnson called the governor’s response disappointing. Noting the increased, daily risk of injury and death, Johnson wrote that local VTrans officials “agree that the paving project cannot be put off for another two years.” He also asked for the work to be done “this year.”
Writing that “seeing is believing,” Johnson asked that Scott come and see the condition of the road. We would go one step further and call on the governor to experience Route 11 in the way that thousands of visitors to our state do every year – on his motorcycle – and then say wait.
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