STOCKBRIDGE -- Three of downtown's most heavily traveled streets -- Main, Elm and Maple -- will get a long-awaited repaving this fall, with a predictable impact on traffic, especially during the height of the impending fall-foliage tourism season.
The project will begin Monday and continue until mid-November.
Acknowledging that "there's never a good time of year to pave Main Street" in the heart of Norman Rockwell country, Selectwoman Deborah McMenamy said "this is the time we're going to do it." The reconstruction has been long-anticipated since the downtown water-main installation project in 2010, she added.
Work will extend along Main Street from the Routes 7 and102 intersection at the fire station westbound to the Red Lion Inn, where Route 7 south branches off. The street, subject of Rockwell's iconic illustration, is a major travel route, especially congested on fall-foliage weekends, when backups are common even without any road work. Construction will be confined to weekdays.
McMenamy emphasized that traffic flow will be maintained with one lane in each direction at all times with the help of a police detail, though parking will be restricted. The project also involves the heavily used Elm and Maple side streets, which include the post office, a market and other businesses.
Stockbridge Police Chief Richard "Rick" Wilcox said Friday that traffic impact is inevitable and suggested that motorists find alternate routes on weekdays if possible.
The $390,000 project was approved by town meeting voters several years ago, said Town Administrator Jorja-Ann Marsden. The low bid was awarded to Palmer Paving Corp.
"Palmer and the Highway Department will be doing all they can to reduce the impact," said Wilcox, noting that during the first two weeks of the project, drainage work will be underway in the parking areas of the affected streets.
Sidewalk work is planned for the week of Oct. 7, according to the construction schedule, followed by weekday milling, leveling and paving from Oct. 15-Nov 1. Construction timetables are subject to change because of weather or other factors, Wilcox pointed out.
For information, contact Highway Superintendent Leonard Tisdale at (413) 298-5506.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
email@example.com or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto