Fire-damaged highway garage is razed


PITTSFIELD -- Crews are demolishing the old city highway garage at 232 West Housatonic St., which was heavily damaged by fire in on Jan. 14, 2013.

Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood said the demolition and engineering work toward construction of a replacement facility is being funded from insurance settlement money the city received.

The city's insurer, the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, approved a $1.5 million settlement for the fire damage. The goal is to begin construction this year, but highway crews have temporary leased space in a building owned by Laurin Publishing on Elmvale Place, off Wahconah Street.

The insurance settlement also includes $70,000 per year for two years to lease temporary space

After the garage on the 6.3-acre city parcel is removed, the tentative plan calls for building a new structure north of the current building. In addition, the city hopes to refurbish the DPW offices building, located behind the garage.

The city yard complex was opened in 1926, and four of its structures, including the garage and office building, were constructed between 1926 and 1937.


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