Local News

Chittenden to landscape reconfigured intersection

By Brett Yates

Following a swift redesign of the junction of Holden Road and Dam Road earlier in September, the town of Chittenden now aims to beautify its new T intersection.

On Sept. 27, the Chittenden Select Board approved a request by the town’s planning commission to use $1,500 (already budgeted for undefined “professional services”) to hire a landscape designer who’ll sketch a plan for the disused portions of what was, until recently, a fork at the bottom of Holden Road. The leaner T intersection has left behind space for greenery.

“We would like to bring in a landscaper to do some drawings for us of how to make that green space beautiful and use our natural resources to make that space the best it can be,” Abbey Elliott, head of the planning commission’s infrastructure committee, explained.

Once the sketch is complete, the commission will return to the Select Board for approval before implementation next spring or summer. So far, no funds have been set aside for the project itself, and officials floated the idea of soliciting volunteer labor, as “an opportunity to build community, to have people work together to create something for themselves.”

In the nearer future, a municipal work crew expects to tear out the junction’s obsolete sections of asphalt and to replace them temporarily with winter rye to prevent erosion.

Some voices expressed reservations about the landscaping project, though all Select Board members agreed to move forward. “My only thought is that, with those designs, architects and those people who do that are going to make it more, make it bigger, make it more expensive than maybe what the town is planning on spending,” Selectman Joseph Casella cautioned.

“My biggest concern is safety — is maintaining the line of sight in that intersection,” Road Commissioner Gary Congdon said. “You want to start planting trees and shrubs and flowers — if you’re going to lose it, you’re going to start having problems. “Keep it simple,” he advised.

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