First storm creates mess
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Brattleboro Reformer.
#1 Nov 26, 2008
Just by reading the reformer for years, even I know that from exit 1 to exit 3 is a great danger zone,people just fly by, Post the speed at 55 and stay alive
#2 Nov 26, 2008
The sad part is, no one WILL slow down...personally, I believe that the State Police should post someone between Exits 1 and 4 at all times. Everyone is in far too much of a hurry and this has nothing to do with the overall condition of the road--it is stupidity pure and simple.
#3 Nov 26, 2008
Here is pictures of the Williams Street Bridge from below. This is one of the most defective bridge i ever seen. It has no safety breakdown lane on the bridge...it would be illegal to construct today.
Is this accident a result of the severe Vermont financial crisis...our approaching economic depression....how many more can we exspect?
Hey, does Vermont have enough salt this year, do you have enough salt if you have a severe winter this year...enough to get us through the winter. Talk about salt price inflation...wonder what the price is doing seeing how we are in a deflation inviroment.
I just think the state neglects the roads in this area of the state...you aren't at the heart of Vermont political influence. Did the state police or brattleboro police get complaints about the slippryness of the Williams Street Bridge area....was there action taken on those complaints?
They could put temperature detectors in the road, put it up on the internet...but that means you would have to waste state resources with saving lives and preventing injuries...salt and sanding operations just waste state resources.
You catch that ideological theme...with excessive speeds according to the weather condition...it's all the fault of the poor and vulnerable population...those innocent people traveling Vermont's roads...it's our vulnerable population's fault that we are bailing out Wall Street and corporate America to the tune of 7 trillion dollars.
For starters we need a 21 trillion dollar infrastructure program
#4 Nov 26, 2008
Everyone remembers the pavement and road damage coming out of last year's hard winter...the spring warm-up uncovering massive and historic damage to Vermont's roads. I calculated the damage to Vermont's roads as being 1.2 billion dollars. The state and the municipality can't keep with the yearly damage caused by the weather...they are in a death spiral...the AOT whole budget last year was 425 million dollars and just the damage caused by the severe winter of 2008 was 1.2 billion dollars.
What you are facing next spring is a unprecedented collapse of Vermont's roads...historic damage and economic disruption caused by the destruction of the road surface. It may take a you a decade to recover from this...but the reality is the total year budget doesn't even fix half of last years damage.
I tell you this is going to damage the political process...cause everyone will be in a warfare state trying to capture transportation resources for their local interest. This is going to damage your political process and cause widespread mistrust of the political process.
Other northern countries have woken up in the spring with completely unexpected and historically massive damage to their roads. They had a rather difficult winter. The politicians tend to blame the damage on the weather. But generally the politicians had been cutting back maintenance to their roads for many years and even a decade. They generally also have had mild winters leading up to the historic damage. So it appeared the the roads were holding up better than was expected.
What they were doing is transitioning to cheaper maintenance methods...not keeping up with national road codes. The road bed was fracturing unseen under the surface...the transportation department were putting a good looking asphalt vernier over the road bed, say a 1/4 layer...they were almost painting the road bed. The cheap layering was a perfects means to capture water... during the freeze cycles, this effect distroyed the road surface.
Finally a severe winter shows up, through the normal freeze- thaw mechanism...a nation roadway can be completely destroyed in one winter ...in over only a matter of a few week period.
The troubles with Vermont's historic damage to the pavement after the winter of 2008 was a warning to the state...you had systemically undermined the maintenance to your roads over many years. There is much unseen damage to the road bed.
I predict when you wake up from the severe winter of 2009...a cold winter, with rain storms, big snow storms, then back to extreme temperatures...you will awake in the spring of 2009 with the Vermont's roadways nearly destroyed. You will have immediate economic disruption and your image to vacationers will be effected for over a decade.
This will set in motion a long death spiral, your budgets will never keep up with the yearly damage...let alone the normal maintenance. Even if we have a national infrastructure program, it will take many years to stop the decline in the quality of the roads...it will steal money from other projects such as bridge replacement. Vermont would face a decade of declining quality of their roads...and it will severely affect Vermont's image to outsiders.
Maybe even a Vermont bridge will collapse like the I35 bridge....because they need to keep up with the surface damage.
#5 Nov 26, 2008
Loss of control accidents
There is much debate over loss of control accidents with various opinions from experts and the public. What the average person and some experts are not aware of is that there can be as high as 950 pounds or more weight on the front axle of their vehicle than the back. So a car that feels like a limousine on the front holds like a golf cart on the back.
A 3000lb car with a weight ratio of 65% front weight and 35% rear weight will weigh 1950lb on the front and 1050 on the rear. After you use 10 gallon of fuel from a rear tank one of the front wheels has as much traction as both rear combined.
If you analyze single vehicle accidents you will find most of them had better tires on the front than the back or a very large weight difference. In fact the worst balanced cars have 4 times as many fatalities as cars designed with better balance. How are you going to tell how fast is too fast under these conditions when it is possible for a balanced car to handle fine on a slippery surface at 50 mph and an unbalanced car to loose control at 20 mph and both to feel the same to the drivers
#6 Nov 26, 2008
But if they had a luxurious approach to the ravine, river...the road would signal to the driver a serious drop in elevation and then a return the the same elevation...then the natural response of the drivers would have prevented the accident. That new bridge should had a extra-luxurious safety/breakdown lane...the bridge should have been a straight bridge...the entry and exit should have been luxuriously straight for a sufficient length.
This is a first generation interstate roadway circa 1960 design...it is obsolete.
It is a Ralph Nader "unsafe at any speed" bankrupt GM corvair bridge...
#7 Nov 27, 2008
There they go again, paper whipping the problems with polls and reports. Like how many bridges did that fix?
They just are going to have to shutdown a major arteries and bridges...legal suits charging the state with man slaughter...send a signal to the public.
I got a great idea...why don't they steal monies from the mentally ill, the hungry, the jobless, the cold and poor...how about less money for the vulnerable?
I am telling you the truth, there is nothing more immoral and unethical in this world than having "budgets"...having artificial limits on meeting human and societal needs.
You are always choosing death for some of the vulnerable, always, always, always...always enslaving the least of us!!!
You are always choosing to not fix and uncover a critical defect in your organization.
Budgets bureaucratically are equivalent to putting a pistol to somebody's head.
Survey: Residents want to invest in roads
November 27, 2008
By Peter Hirschfeld Vermont Press Bureau
Vermonters favor putting more state money into fixing roads and bridges in order to reverse the rapid deterioration of the state's transportation infrastructure, according to a long-awaited report issued this week by a leading nonpartisan think tank.
In an unscientific survey conducted by the Snelling Center for Government, a majority of residents said transportation should assume a priority equal to or greater than health care, education and social services.
The poll indicated Vermonters' willingness to divert resources from other state activities to meet transportation needs, and found that business leaders and other citizens would rather pay more taxes than see infrastructure fall further into disrepair.
"I think the most significant finding is that there is considerable willingness in the public to find a compromise solution so that more resources can go to roads and bridges and reverse deterioration," says Charlie Smith, president of the Snelling Center.
#8 Nov 28, 2008
Feb 11, 2008: "We need a congressional investigation!"...about the road salt shortage.
Coincidence, God or The Universe... The Meaning of The I 91 Accident?
NYT: Winter Storms Squeeze Supplies of Road Salt
Authored by: MMulligan on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 10:53 AM EST
I don’t buy it that we got an extremely tuff winter weather...it’s just self interest protectional rationalization. I’d term the weather as mild to the low end of moderate or normal.
You can’t help but notice the NYT’s has been banging around the periphery with the “Daddy Killer Bridge” within Vermont and New Hampshire asking about the salt situation. They focused a lot of attention with Vermont. Believe me, they are responding to information developed on Ibrat...the power of citizen journalism.
Notice they didn’t get a response from the Vermont Agency of Transportation. I bet you the NYT’s called up the Vermont Agency of Transportation...with the AOT declining to comment because of the interest with ibrat and our story. I bet you they refused to talk fearing legal liability.
I request a emergency USA Department of Transportation or Congressional Root Cause Analysis investigation concerning the Eastern winter road salt shortage!
Lives have been loss, many people have been injured...and a lot of vehicles have been damaged.
The question has to be asked...will transportation disruptions because of unsafe roads lead to shortages and price spike in other sectors of our society. Is that what is facing us as we look down the highway!
Coincidence, God or The Universe... The Meaning of The I 91 Accident?
Authored by: MMulligan on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 01:08 PM EST
This is a state of emergency....it’s widespread...why isn’t this a “Homeland Security” issue. If there are not enough trucks to get the salt to the state agencies or municipalities...if it is land transportation...it’s time for the National Guard or military.
Didn’t we talk about some Maine issues here? Wonder how the sub prime mess is playing out? We know the state is in a budget crisis.
Did the state road budget keep up with population growth or business group of Maine....I like the historic record with the total number of plow or salt trucks...salt supplies at the beginning of winter?
Is it a mentality of the “salt speculators”, are they pulling a California Enron electricity shortage to boost profits...have they engineered a salt shortage?
We need a congressional investigation!
#9 Nov 28, 2008
Had my Obama buddies help me.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating possible collusion among suppliers
Most of the salt for the East Coast is shipped in from overseas, he said.
Road salt in shorter supply, pricier
AP Business Writer
11:37 AM CST, November 28, 2008
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.
Dave Barber did the math. Now Peoria's public works director is crossing his fingers and hoping his city has enough road salt to ride out the winter.
The central Illinois city recently paid almost $48 a ton to replenish its salt supply, an increase of 30 percent, or $500,000, over last year. Even so, Barber feels fortunate.
Some towns are paying as much as $170 a ton as salt prices across the U.S. soar due to shipping problems and surging demand.
Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, communities are making plans to stretch supplies by mixing salt with sand, brine or even beet juice.
"It's a balancing act between money and quantity," said Barber, who expects to mix the city's salt supply with two parts of sand, effectively cutting the per-ton cost to about $23. "This year, the dollars are going to govern for us, and we're going to try to live within the budget."
In New Hampshire, the state expects to pay $2 million to $3 million more than the $8 million it typically spends on salt. In North Dakota state transportation department, which paid $1.6 million for road salt last year, says the price jumped to about $67 a ton this winter.
The wildly disparate costs have raised eyebrows.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating possible collusion among suppliers, but so far has found nothing illegal, Madigan spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said.
Most of the salt for the East Coast is shipped in from overseas, he said.
Weather hasn't always cooperated, either.
#10 Nov 30, 2008
Can't wait to see the news tomorrow about the accidents on I 91?
#11 Dec 9, 2008
State: Budget cuts not behind slippery roads
The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 9
MONTPELIER - Vermont transportation officials say it was unusually tricky weather and not budget cuts that have led to slicker-than-normal roads around the state.
The head of the union representing state workers says he wonders if budget cuts contributed to the unusually treacherous commute from South Burlington to Montpelier on Monday.
But the Agency of Transportation's Gil Newbury says it was more a matter of snow turning to ice amid plummeting temperatures. He says road salt isn't as effective when that happens.
Icy road conditions have lead to numerous traffic accidents around Vermont over the past few days.
How does the state tract the conditions of the roads...what signals them to start salting them?
#12 Dec 9, 2008
If the freaken libtards didn't cry about I-91 right-a-ways in the 50's, that darn road could have been straight.. now look what we got.. they should just rammed it through, paid them off and took the land for public safety sake! But of course we were running 7,000 pound sedans back them...
#13 Dec 9, 2008
Least you didn't blame Clinton?
#14 Dec 10, 2008
The state gave Hinsdale NH a few years ago more money for their schools...where the selectmen promptly divert these monies to reducing taxes..not a bit of it was spent on the schools. They went about bragging how they reduced every ones taxes.
So on a national level for the 2009 infrastructure program...I put something in the congressional legislation that the national infrastructure monies would have to go towards direct state infrastructure improvements. I wouldn't allow them to ramp down state transportation spending...and a governor brags and gets reelected because he diverts the national infrastructure monies into broad or specific state tax reduction. It wouldn't be fair for a low tax state to fix their budget problems on the backs of the Federal infrastructure funding...while leaving their roads and bridges a mess for election purposes. In other words, the state would have to keep spending the future projected transportation budgets plus the additional monies from the feds.
Man, the transportation and road construction industry is one of the most corrupt businesses in the country. I get a really good, educated and experience oversight board on infrastructure expenditures...with draconian powers if necessary...to assure the state's are spending the monies honestly and the public is getting their bucks worth with the feds monies...and not funding corrupt politicians and construction firms.
#15 Jan 14, 2009
Mike, I didn't get it?
#16 Jan 14, 2009
I can't hear you mike!
#17 Jan 14, 2009
I mean, we could come up the average cost per foot of roads in Vermont, how about a average repair cost per foot of road...we know 40% of the roads in Vermont are very poor...we could get an estimate on the state wide cost to bring the road back to snuff.
I don’t think Vermont deserves to get their fair share of infrastructure, bridge and road money, far from it....you would be rewarding their neglectful pattern of not saving for a rainy day, tax cuts and state subsidies to the rich in times of plenty.
There is a moral hazard here?
What if you had a good state who budgeted correctly and kept their roads and infrastructure up to date...your are going to reward a terrible state like Vermont and punish a good state.
You are going to forgive some people and not others...you are subsidizing your friends and not your competitors.
I know it, the poor and vunerable...it’s all their fault, the economy of the world is collapsing! We got to punish them because they didn’t put away for a rainy day fund in the harshest economic decade since the last depression. You know these poor people, they all all liars.
Are we going to have to go to the philosophy of no fault....as in no fault car insurance. Think of the implications of that.
How we going to get over this farness issue?
#18 Jan 14, 2009
Article published Jan 14, 2009
Transport officials buckle down
Tough budget session ahead as drastic cuts forecasted
By Peter Hirschfeld Vermont Press Bureau
MONTPELIER — The roads are getting worse and the money is getting scarcer as transportation officials brace for one of the more difficult budgeting sessions in memory.
On Tuesday, economic analysts forecast yet another downgrade in the transportation fund. The dour news came as lawmakers received an Agency of Transportation report indicating that more than one-third of all state roads are now in "very poor" condition.
The approximately $4.5 million revenue downgrade announced Tuesday leaves a $10 million hole in the fiscal year 2009 budget. Legislators, already eyeing drastic cuts to town highway programs and Amtrak service, will likely cast an even wider net as they seek additional cost-cutting measures.
"We're going to be looking seriously at project slippages," said Transportation Secretary David Dill. "Project slippages maybe in rail, maybe in bridge maintenance."
Lawmakers already have cut more than $7 million in the current fiscal year budget. New equipment purchases have been eliminated almost completely; more than $1 million has been pared from the maintenance budget; and another $3 million has been pulled from program development.
The revenue losses, particularly acute in the purchase-and-use tax, come as pressures mount — the percentage of roads in "very poor" condition hit 36 percent in 2008, up from 22 percent in 2006. And Vermont remains among the worst in the nation in its percentage of structurally deficient bridges.
The road-condition report took few by surprise. Dill said the state had forecast as early as 2001 that more than 40 percent of roads would be in very poor condition by now. He said a three-fold increase in the state's paving budget since Gov. James Douglas took office has helped stem the deterioration.
"Yes, it's continued to get worse, but it's not a dramatic increase because we're putting in extra effort to keep it from being dramatic," Dill said.
We need a massive federal investment across the nation to rebuild our infrastructure, because it's been 50 years since we've really done that," Dill said.
Contact Peter Hirschfeld at peter.hirschfeld@rutlandherald .com.
#19 Jan 14, 2009
You are paying a high priced consultant who probably won’t work for the pennies he would get if he worked in the AOT and Vermont?
You just transferred the deputy secretary to the consultant industry, and you are going to pay him a lot more?
Douglas is probable doing it for a friend!
“Dill said though that more money is needed. And the funds, he said, will have to come from the federal government. Economic consultants said Tuesday that state transportation revenue for fiscal year 2010 will be just as austere, if not more so, than this year. And 2011 doesn't look good either.”
“Dill has already decided to forgo filling the vacant deputy secretary position in his executive office. Sen. Dick Mazza, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation, used an oft-repeated mantra in the Statehouse to describe his approach over the next few weeks.”
Are there any "good people" left in Vermont..I am making a state wide call for the last good guy in vermont! Just one person!
#20 Jan 14, 2009
You judge the development of country by the upkeep of their roads and modernity of their roads, best technology.
I am going to declare today that Vermont has entered the regression phase...they have regressed into the third world!
How did modernity slip so fast from our hands?
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