Section of Bennington Bypass project on schedule

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State officials say work on the northern section of the Bennington Bypass is on schedule and part of the highway project could be open to traffic a month early.

Vermont Agency of Transportation project manager James Harris says Exit 2 in the northbound lane of Route 7 is expected to reopen in August.

The exit was closed in January 2007 out of concern about a rocky ledge above the road.

It was expected to remain closed until September but crews appear to be ahead of schedule.

The entire project will be complete in 2012. The bypass will connect U.S. Route 7 north of Bennington with Vermont Route 9 east of downtown.

The bypass is designed to keep large trucks out of downtown Bennington. It was first conceived in the 1950s, but construction on the first phase did not begin until 1999.

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