PITTSFIELD — Before next winter, the 11-year, nearly $18 million downtown streetscape project should be completed.
On Monday, J.H. Maxymillian is scheduled to begin the final phase of the infrastructure face-lift on North Street from Columbus Avenue to Madison Avenue.
Funded by a $4.5 million state public works grant, the eight months of work consists of new sidewalk, improved crosswalks, more plantings, upgraded traffic lights at intersections, and reclamation and resurfacing of the four-lane thoroughfare.
As encouragement for pedestrians to use crosswalks, decorative fence will be installed on the median near the Bradford Street intersection and between Maplewood and Madison avenues.
The reconstruction will result in five fewer on-street parking spaces, reduced from 93 to 88.
Maxymillian, the contractor on Phases 2 and 3, is expected to wrap up Phase 4 in November.
The last segment of the streetscape work is in keeping with the rest of the downtown road work improvements, according to Pittsfield Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood.
"This project has been about the beautification, functionality, ADA compliance of our urban streetscape," Collingwood said in written remarks.
Since 2005, Pittsfield has spent more than $13 million in local, state and federal funding on three phases of the streetscape work: South Street at the intersection of East and West Housatonic streets, from South Street to North Street at Columbus Avenue and Eagle Street and most recently Madison Avenue to Tyler Street.
Streetscape improvements include sidewalk treatments; special planting areas and trees; bump-outs at crosswalks; ornamental lighting; increased parking spaces; bike racks, benches, trash and recycling receptacles; and public art spaces, city officials said.
During construction, the contractor will be required to maintain customer access. Vehicular traffic will be guided with signs, cones and drums and "Businesses Open" signs will be prominently displayed.
As the city has done throughout the decade-long streetscape work, the local Department of Community Development will issue weekly project updates for businesses and downtown visitors.
"We are certainly doing the best we can to work with local businesses and alleviate as much concern as possible," Collingwood said. "We're giving enough notice about where construction is occurring and when."
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233