MONTEREY >> The roadwork snarling traffic on Monterey's Route 23 should be completed by the end of August, but town officials are planning to spend the rest of the summer and fall repairing other major thoroughfares in the small hill town.
"The Select Board has concentrated on getting ahead of the game on town infrastructure," Select Board Chairman Ken Basler said.
The most disruptive work on Route 23 should be completed by the end of August, while small projects on the road will continue through September. The town is planning on using Chapter 90 funds to fix Tyringham, Corashire, River and New Marlborough roads by the end of the fall, Highway Department head Shawn Tryon said. Chapter 90 is a program from the state that reimburses municipalities for roadwork projects.
"We're going to re-blacktop the other roads and get them into decent shape," Tryon said.
But first the town has to wait for the state to finish Route 23. On Monday, the Select Board struggled to talk over the work outside as Department of Transportation machines milled two inches off the surface of the road.
Tryon told the board that the department would be testing out blacktop shortly.
"They could do a test patch today or tomorrow," he said. The test patch is important to make sure the blacktopping is being done correctly. In nearby Lee, an entire strip of the Tyringham Road project in that town had to be redone because the department did not test the blacktop before application.
The plan is to start from the Otis and Great Barrington town lines and meet in the middle for repaving, Basler said. As of Friday, the blacktop had almost reached the center of the village from the Otis side.
"There are some parts of the downtown that haven't been black-topped yet," Select Board member Steve Weisz pointed out. He was referring specifically to the parking areas by the post office and the general store, off of Route 23.
Basler replied that he thought that the project could cover those areas, but Weisz confirmed on Tuesday that the scope of the project does not allow for repaving of downtown. The town is putting plans for repaving those areas on hold.
With the plans for using Chapter 90 funding to repair the other roads, Monterey can expect traffic to continue to be slow through town.
"Traffic's screwed up now," Tryon said. "And it's going to stay screwed up."