Adams officials to hold information session Tuesday on Park Street renovations


ADAMS -- Town officials will hold a public information session Tuesday to answer questions about the upcoming renovations to Park Street, which are set to begin on Wednesday.

The $875,000 project, originally slated to begin earlier this summer, will at times close down parts of Park Street. After three months of construction, the result will be a newly paved road; modified sidewalks and crosswalks aimed at improving pedestrian safety; and a renewed "beautification" effort.

Town Administrator Jonathan Butler will join the project's engineering firm, Tighe & Bond Inc., and contractor, J.H. Maxymillian, to provide an overview of the project and its impact on the town at Tuesday's 6 p.m. meeting in the Berkshire Visitors Bureau building in Adams.

Invitations were specifically sent to nearby residents and business owners, according to Butler, so that the officials can address any concerns they may have about the impact the Park Street redesign will have on them.

Butler admitted the construction would cause disruption between the Armory Building and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail intersection.

"If you're a business owner, it's inconvenient, you're going to have some disruption," he said. "Some weeks are going to be better than others, but the majority of the heavy lifting will be early on."

Rick Solomon, co-owner of Izzy's Diner and Pizza on Park Street, said he supports the project but wishes there was more time to prepare.

"I understand that it needs to be done," Solomon said. "My concern that I've been voicing is that it's happening so fast. We don't have time to advertise or advise to our customers that all of this is happening and that we'll be open for it."

Solomon noted that construction is set to begin the day after the public information session.

The project was initially advertised for bidding on April 10. When the bids came in above the anticipated $700,000, the project was rebid in on June 10 and awarded to J.H. Maxymillian earlier this month.

Bill Kolis, owner of the Firehouse Cafe, echoed Solomon's split feelings on the project.

"I have a concern that the [notice] was short, but at the same time I understand what the town was going through," Kolis said.

The Firehouse Cafe will probably have to adapt during construction, Kolis said, such as closing its patio seating at times.

"Obviously the project itself will interfere with the business, but at the same time those types of improvements will make the street more user-friendly in the long run," Kolis said. "Sometimes you've got to take your medicine."

The contractor will try to make the work as minimally invasive as possible, Butler said.

"Portions of the street remain available, it isn't a whole shutdown of Park Street," he said. "They're hoping to phase the work so it's concentrated disruption rather than broad disruption."

So far, Butler said, business owners have been reasonable.

"I think they understand that these projects have to happen," he said. "It's been nearly 30 years since Park Street was overhauled. It's important that Park Street looks good and that it meets code."

Parts of the project -- such as beautification details -- could be pushed into next spring, according to Butler, but the heavier construction work will be completed before winter.

"We faced one of the worst winters [this past year]," Kolis said. "We've made it through that and we'll make it through this."


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