Work begins in earnest on Mountain Drive drainage system

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PITTSFIELD >> While still trying to nail down final environmental permits and some easement agreements with property owners, a contractor is well into a $1 million city storwmwater drainage improvement project on Mountain Drive.

"Local permits are still in process," Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood said this week. "We are working through some concerns of the residents."

The city also is working toward final permits for working in wetlands area buffer zones, but those sections of the new drainage system will be installed later in the project, Collingwood said.

The project involves installing 1,100 feet of wider storm drain to channel water away from the hillside area. The plan calls for a 42-inch wide precast concrete stormwater main to replace a smaller culvert system under the hilltop sections of Mountain Drive, from near the Yvonne Drive intersection to just south of Gaston Drive.

According to a schedule supplied by Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy, tree removals, dig safe precautions, installation of erosion controls and traffic control signs will be done in the first two weeks of June. Most of the project is expected to be finished by the end of the summer, but loaming, seeding and road repairs and paving could extend in some sections into November.

The city awarded a $998,495 contract for the work in November 2015 to D.R. Billings of Lanesborough.

The new system will replace one that is not always large enough to handle the amount of storm or spring melt water that flows through it. Residents report standing water, flooded and damaged lawns, mud deposits, including inside buildings, and manhole covers in the street that "explode" upward from water pressure during major storms.

Contact Jim Therrien at 413-496-6247.


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