The 3.3 mile "Middlebury Spur" that would provide a link to move marble ore from East Middlebury to Omya is no longer being actively pursued, ”given the economic climate, sluggish economy and the cost,” Omya plant manager Jim Stewart told the Rutland Herald.
The spur, which would have also served several other East Middlebury industries, would have been funded by shippers through a per-car charge, but with business down, the numbers don't work any more.
When originally proposed, the spur was expected to be $7.5 million, but costs have now risen to $32 million.
Twenty five percent of the trucks on route seven through Brandon are hauling Omya marble ore, the largest single flow of freight traffic by truck in Vermont.
At one point the state had held some of a $30 million earmark secured by Senator Jim Jeffords for the Western Corridor in order to pay for the bridge that would carry route 7 over the spur. The Shumlin Adminsitration shifted those funds back to the Western Corridor and committed to using highway funds to pay for the bridge if it became needed.