The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) opened Route 9 Friday to full public travel, restoring a critical east-west travel corridor that is vital to safety, mobility and state commerce. The agency today also reopened a bridge along Route 30 at the Dummerston and Newfane town line. The opening reestablishes public access along Route 30 as far northwest as Jamaica, where the road remains closed due to storm damage that is still under repair. Tropical Storm Irene caused considerable damage along Route 9, knocking out a bridge in Woodford and washing away several roadway segments between Marlboro and West Brattleboro. Route 9 through the heart of Wilmington also received considerable damage. As a result, the entire 35-mile stretch of Route 9 between Woodford and West Brattleboro was closed. “Travel between Bennington and Brattleboro since the storm has been challenging as the detours were exceptionally long,” said Gil Newbury, incident commander for VTrans recovery efforts across southeast Vermont. “Reopening Route 9 allows not only residents but businesses to return to something that is close to normal.”Motorists using Route 9 should expect delays in and around Wilmington as well as throughout the seven-mile stretch between Marlboro and West Brattleboro where crews are still conducting repairs and much of the once paved roadway is now gravel. The speed limit, normally 50 mph through much of this stretch, has been reduced to 35 mph for safety reasons. VTrans is advising commercial traffic that is through traffic to use the Massachusetts Turnpike or MA Route 2 to the south as travel on Route 9 will be slow and rough in places.Route 9 is the latest major east-west roadway to reopen since the storm closed more than 450 miles of Vermont State Highway on August 28. In less than two weeks, state work crews in conjunction with dozens of private contractors and hundreds of National Guard troops also have restored services to Route 103 between Rockingham and Rutland, as well as Route 11 between Chester and Manchester. The remaining major east-west corridor that remains closed is Route 4 between Rutland and Woodstock. VTrans, baring some unforeseen setback, anticipates opening this vital stretch of roadway next weekend. “Reestablishing east-west mobility is vital to both our safety and to our economy,” said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. “From day one, reopening these roads was one of our top priorities. But as good as today’s news is, everyone needs to remember that many of our reopened roads are still under construction. If you do not need to be on them, please don’t be. And if you do use them, drive with caution and leave additional time to reach your destination.”The effort to reopen Route 9 involved crews of more than 75 workers from not only VTrans but the Vermont National Guard and several private contractors, including Deloury Construction, C. J. Weaver Excavating, Zaluzny Excavating, Berard’s Excavating, Eilers Brothers Trucking and Construction, Brown Logging and Chipping, Cold River Construction, and Kubricky Construction Corp.