Paving on Route 7 and 20 in Lenox expected to begin Aug. 8

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LENOX — Construction crews will begin completing site work next week on a section of Route 7 and 20 in preparation for paving, which is expected to begin Aug. 8.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has updated its plans for the construction project from the Guardian Insurance Co. in Pittsfield to the Route 7A (Main Street) intersection in Lenox that began in late May.

Beginning Monday, subcontractors are expected to be on site completing their work in preparation for paving.

They will be adjusting drainage structures and water gates, resetting areas of edging, and cutting traffic signal control loops in the pavement, the Mass DOT statement said.

Most of the work will be completed during the week of Aug. 1 to reduce traffic disruption during paving operations later in the month, according to the department.

Daytime paving is expected to begin on Aug. 8, from New Lenox Road to the Route 7A intersection. It will be scheduled from Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Friday, 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Overnight paving is anticipated to start for two weeks, beginning Aug. 15, from Guardian Insurance Co. to New Lenox Road, according to the following schedule:

Week of Aug. 15: Monday night until Friday morning, 7 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

Week of Aug. 22: Monday night until Friday morning, 7 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.

During the two-week nighttime paving operation, there will be no work during the normal daytime hours.

The department cautioned that the schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Based on previous information from Mass DOT, the paving portion of the major, $3 million resurfacing operation had been expected to start during the week of July 11, following completion of preliminary work on sidewalks, drainage improvements and wheelchair ramps and milling of the roadway.

The department has given no explanation so far for the delay in resuming work on the highway.

Motorists will be restricted to one lane in each direction of the state highway while paving is underway.

The highway section is one of the county's busiest, with 24,000 to 34,000 vehicles a day during peak hours, depending on the exact location and time of year, according to Mass-DOT's average daily traffic statistics for both directions.

In the summer, traffic increases with the arrival of tourists and second-home owners, up to 40,000 vehicles a day during peak hours.

Under its original schedule, the department had expected most of the project to be completed in early August, though the official end date is Sept. 14.

Lane Construction Corp. of Lenox Dale is the general contractor for the $3,046,579 project.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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