BURLINGTON – Drivers may need a few extra minutes on their commutes this week as the city of Burlington begins switching over its all-season roads to sturdier winter roads. The new roads, which are typically put in during the week of Thanksgiving, are thicker, darker, and studded with small metal beads designed to keep cars safe in the winter months. The switch-over process typically takes 3-5 days and, once completed, the winter roads will stay in place until around Easter when they will usually be discarded and replaced with the all-season roads that are kept in storage from November through April.
The expense of new roads each winter has been a point of debate for many years among Vermonters, with some claiming that it is an unnecessary tax burden on the city. Others complain that their towns cannot afford winter roads, but would love it if they could. One right-wing fringe group has even suggested that instead of paying into a winter road system, each person should be responsible for equipping their own vehicles with special tires that could improve stability in snow and ice, but that was unanimously shot down by the Burlington City Council as prohibitively expensive for residents.