Friday September 28, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A long overdue city water improvement project got under way this week near Pontoosuc Lake and should end years of water pressure problems for dozens of homeowners, city officials said.

The nearly $1 million project calls for installing a new 12-inch water main on Hancock Road from North Street to Ridge Avenue. The larger pipe will replace an existing 6-inch main.

In addition, new 8-inch water pipes will be laid along the loop formed by Constitution, Waubeek and Overlook roads.

Most of the water main work is expected to be completed in mid-November. The roads will be repaved next summer.

The project is part of Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi's $9.8 million capital budget the City Council approved in June for the current fiscal year.

"For years, Hancock Road was recognized as a necessary project, but it was never addressed," said Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi. "People living in this area have been very patient."

Since taking office Jan. 1, Ward 7 Councilor Anthony J. Simonelli says the water service upgrade on and resurfacing of Hancock Road has been at the top of his to-do list.

"I have been pushing for this since Day One," said Simonelli, who represents the Hancock Road neighborhood. "Arguably, it's one of the worst roads in the city in a major residential area."

He cited how residents are glad they can expect better municipal water service.

"I sent out about 75 emails notifying people about the project and many replied they are thrilled the project has begun," the councilor said. "It's been a long time coming."

Prior to digging up Hancock Road, the contractor this week was mapping out where best to put the new water main, without disturbing other underground utilities.

City officials say Hancock Road will be down to one lane during part of the project. Homeowners will also receive advance notice of any temporary water service shutdowns during construction.

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