By David Dill. Now that we are about halfway through the summer construction season, many Vermonters have become aware that the Agency of Transportation is replacing all the road signs along Vermont’s interstate system. This work has prompted many questions, the most common is why?Understandably, many motorists believe that our old highway signs are just fine and that the money we are using to replace these highway signs could be better spent repairing bridges, expanding public transit and paving roads. I too would prefer to put every available dollar into these kinds of high-priority programs, but we do have to address our other responsibilities as well.The bottom line is that from an engineering and safety perspective, those old signs are not OK and the state must replace them. Here is why.Congress recently directed the Federal Highway Administration to adopt a national standard for retro-reflectivity for traffic signs and pavement markings. These new standards, which were established in 2008, apply to all roads open to public travel. Compliance with these new retro-reflectivity rules is a requirement that VTrans must meet by 2015 to continue to receive the critical federal-aid highway funds that come to Vermont.Federal-aid highway funds make up $250 million of the state’s $595 million transportation budget, and are used in all facets of the state’s highway, bridge and public transportation programs.The goal of this new reflectivity mandate is to provide signs that are legible during all times of day and weather conditions. This is largely accomplished through the retro-reflectivity of the sign sheeting. The expected life of this sheeting is approximately 15 years. Many of the signs on our interstate system are at least 20 years old, and some that were recently replaced on northern portions of I-91 were the original signs from way back in the 1960s and 70s.The posts and foundations for these signs are also being replaced. All new signposts are designed to be “breakaway” if struck by a vehicle. This modern technology is a valuable safety tool that will prevent injury and save lives. On the financial front, these sign projects do not tap funds that could otherwise be used for bridge, public transit or pavement projects, so they are not in conflict with those programs. Instead, the new signs are 100 percent federally funded with money called “Section 148 Highway Safety Improvement Program” funds, which can only be spent on safety-related projects.Sign improvements are one of several allowable project categories under Section 148. The federal government identified sign retro-reflectivity as an important safety feature, which led to the Highway Administration’s adoption of the mandate requiring states to upgrade their existing signs. As a result, VTrans, over the next few years, will replace all traffic control signs on a system-wide basis, prioritized by sign age, which is why the northern section of I-91 was completed first, followed by the current I-89 projects. The rest of the interstate system will follow so that we complete the work by the federally mandated 2015 deadline.David Dill is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation8.4.2010
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – Iowa-based furniture maker Flexsteel Industries has announced it will permanently close its Dubuque manufacturing facility.The company announced the closure Wednesday morning, minutes before a conference call to discuss its latest quarterly earnings, the Telegraph Herald reported. The Dubuque plant employs about 150 people. The company announced its facility in Starkville, Mississippi, also will close, and blamed a drop in demand of some products that has been exacerbated by the new coronavirus pandemic.The closure follows the company’s two-week shutdown of the Dubuque plant last month and its announcement in late March that it would lay off about 100 in Dubuque, including about 40 people at its corporate headquarters.On Tuesday, Flexsteel reported a third-quarter net loss of $5.3 million.
The GMC driver then sideswiped another car and this morning is in stable condition. Broward Detectives are searching for the driver of a white Dodge Ram pickup truck who was involved in a shooting on I-95 that left a man wounded this weekend.FHP says someone opened fire on the driver and two passengers traveling inside a GMC on I-95 northbound near Hollywood Boulevard Sunday morning.The shooter, who was driving a white Dodge Ram, fled the scene after wounding the driver of the GMC, according to FHP.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by The Washington Center for the Performing ArtsThe walls of the Washington Center Gallery are covered with art once again this autumn. The annual ArtsWalk Arts Auction showcases local artists who generously donate their work to benefit the Center’s mission and to help make art more accessible to the south Sound community. This year, the Center has received works of art in a variety of styles; selecting photographs, acrylics, textiles, wood, oils, and photo-etched copper pieces in the juried selection process.Also available for viewing are several works by celebrated local painter Ira Coyne. These heavy-duty plywood pieces graced the front of The Washington Center during last year’s renovation project and are suitable for indoor or outdoor display.“We love displaying local art on our Gallery walls, and when the community gets excited about taking these pieces home to their walls, it’s even better!” said Executive Director Jill Barnes. “These artists help create vibrant cultural opportunities downtown, providing accessible art experiences and contributing to our Arts Education programming.”All of the art is available for bidding here, starting Friday, October 3 at 5 p.m. There is even a Buy-it-Now option for the piece you just can’t live without! All Buy-it-Now purchases will also receive two complimentary tickets to select Washington Center performances. Bidding is open through Sunday, October 19 at 9 p.m. The Gallery is open for viewing Tuesday through Friday noon-4 p.m.; other times can be arranged through the administrative office at 753-8585.The entire Washington Center will be bustling with activity during ArtsWalk, as Olympia Artspace Alliance will be in the lobby sharing updates, RADCO will be performing on the Mainstage Friday at 6 p.m., and Gingerbread Village will be promoting the return to Downtown for the Holidays. The Washington Center ArtsWalk hours are Friday, October 3, 5p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday October 4 noon – 5 p.m.