News Releases

November 07, 2011

Cavendish Road Repairs Complete Route - 131 Now Open in its Entirety

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) today opened Route 131 through Cavendish, which had been closed since Tropical Storm Irene struck more than two months ago.

Irene severely damaged several miles of Route 131 between Weathersfield and Cavendish, and completely obliterated about 250 feet of the roadway just east of Cavendish Village. Dubbed the “Cavendish Canyon” because floodwaters created a creator 54 feet high and almost a football field long, the roadway had to be completely rebuilt from the edge of the river up.

“Rebuilding Route 131 through Cavendish clearly was one of our most significant challenges,” said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. “Raging floodwater did not just damage the road, it basically eliminated it. But with significant help from the National Guard, a couple of our neighboring state transportation departments and others, we rebuilt the road in just two short months, which is quite remarkable. “

At its apex, the work crew along Route 131 in Cavendish numbered nearly 150 men and women along with more than 50 pieces of heavy equipment including dump trucks, bulldozers, backhoes, road graders and other earth-moving vehicles. Dozens of National Guard troops from both Vermont and Ohio were involved, as well as highway crews from VTrans, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the Main Department of Transportation and private contractor DeLoury Construction.

Some 70,000 cubic yards of stone and fill were trucked in and put into place to restore the roadway just at the canyon, while thousands more cubic yards were needed to repair various other washouts along the rest of the road.

“It literally took an army of people and machines working sunup to sundown for more than two months to rebuild Route 131 as well as the rest Vermont’s damaged road network,” Searles said. “This is a tremendous achievement. Our Vtrans team has, once again, accomplished what no one thought was possible. By opening the Cavendish Canyon today, we have advanced from over 500 miles of road and 200 bridges damaged by Irene in August, to just 2 closed bridges under construction in Roxbury, and three remaining road projects,” he said.

The final roads to be completed include route 106 in Weathersfield, Route 107 in Stockbridge and Route 73.”

For up-to-date information on storm-related openings and closings, people can call VTrans recovery call center at 1-800-VERMONT or go to the agency’s homepage at where they can sign up for alerts pushed to their mobile phone. You can also follow VTrans’ recovery efforts on both Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: November 07, 2011 07:54:22