Stuck in the mud: Excavator slips during Water Street construction

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Photo Gallery | Excavator gets stuck in river in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON — Construction on Water Street was delayed briefly after an excavator slid into the mud on Tuesday and had to be extracted by road crews.

North Bennington Highway Superintendent Norm LeBlanc said that the incident was not as serious as it appeared from the roadway, where it looked to many as if the vehicle had slid down from the top of the steep embankment. "This was a planned event," he said, "they dug a road to get down there. It ended up being muckier and muddier than expected, but we knew that this job would have complications." The excavator was gradually making a path down the embankment when the wet ground gave way and it slid to the bottom. No one was injured, and the equipment appeared to be functioning normally after it was extricated from the mud.

LeBlanc said straight down was the only way to get to the bottom of the embankment, where broken pieces of the retaining wall needed to be removed.

The construction, which is being performed by Weaver Excavating of Shaftsbury, is part of a grant funded project to repair the retaining wall. The project is being overseen by MSK Engineering. At the North Bennington Board of Trustees July meeting, MSK engineer Jason Dolmetsch praised Weaver and their work on similar projects around the state.

The village received $175,000 from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and matched that with $20,000 in local funds, to pay for the project. Dolmetsch estimated after Weaver's bid was approved that the total project cost would be about $156,000.

Water Street has been a one-lane road since construction began. After the retaining wall is repaired, any damage to the road surface caused by the construction will be repaired as well, according to Dolmetsch's project plan. Tuesday's incident is not expected to cause any delay in construction.

— Contact Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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