This project was conceived as a way to provide a pathway between the towns of North Bennington and Bennington which have no contiguous sidewalks that would allow easy and safe access to food markets, schools, or key job centers. For those individuals without a vehicle at their disposal, having such access is an important component in helping to level socio-economic playing field in this rural area.
The first phase of this project, funded by Bennington College, the Town of Bennington and other private donors, connected Bennington College with the Hannaford Shopping Plaza. This particular corridor saw frequent and dangerous usage by pedestrians and bikers who would walk along the narrow shoulders of the busy State Route 67 as well as cross an intersection with SR 67, College Road, Madison Road and Silk Road which is listed among the top 100 most dangerous intersections in Vermont. MSK Engineering worked closely with Bennington County Regional Commission and VTrans to develop a design that would accommodate plow trucks and other large working vehicles in addition to pedestrians and cyclists. The final plan included a separated a separated bike/ped path and a dedicated pedestrian crossing including a refuge island and a rectangular rapid flashing beacon. The remaining phase, which has been funded by a Municipal Assistance Bureau Grant, will complete the 2.2 mile pathway connecting the Hannaford Shopping Plaza to the Walmart Shopping Plaza and will tie in the Hunt Street Bridge Crossing.