Thursday August 9, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Four months in, city officials say they're pleased with the progress being made in the $6 million South Street reconstruction project of Pittsfield's busy street.

Since April, the contractor has been mainly installing new curbing and drainage, along most of the road from the entrance to Berkshire Life Co., north to the intersection with Taconic and Reed streets.

In addition, J. H. Maxymillian of Pittsfield is working on a retaining wall, new curbing and sidewalk in the Northbound lane between Crofut Street and the city's park on Veterans Way.

Massachusetts Department of Trans portation officials say Maxymillian has completed about 20 percent of the project, scheduled to wrap up by June 2014.

A construction worker hoses off the chute of a cement mixer at the end of the work day.
A construction worker hoses off the chute of a cement mixer at the end of the work day. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff)
MassDOT is overseeing and funding the construction work.

"I think they have progressed quicker than that," said Bruce I. Collingwood, Pittsfield's public utilities commissioner.

"I think the process is going quickly," added Ward 5 Councilor Jona than N. Lothrop. "I want to compliment the foreman and project manager for how they've handled things."

The rest of the work includes repaving the 1.4-mile stretch of South Street and upgrading five signalized intersections -- at Berkshire Life, South Mountain Road, Warren Terrace, Gamwell Avenue and Crofut Street.

The initial layer of new asphalt is expected to be put down within a couple of months, according to Mass DOT officials.

"By the fall, we hope to have paving of the binder course from the north end of the project down to South Mountain Road," said MassDOT spokes man Michael Verseckes.

City officials say the South Street work is long overdue because the major thoroughfare into Pittsfield has taken a beating for more than a decade.

South Street to Park Square is the city's most traveled thoroughfare, and that's a major reason two-way traffic will be maintained at all times during construction.

While occasional traffic de lays have occurred -- especially during the morning and afternoon commute -- Col lingwood said he's impressed by the traffic control.

"You could tell [Maxy millian] put a lot of thought into making sure vehicles move safely through the construction zones," he said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233