Larrywaug Brook running high

Work on the Larrywaug Bridge has been suspended for 11 days so far this month, including Monday, because of high water from recent downpours. 

STOCKBRIDGE — The reconstruction of the 1931 Larrywaug Bridge on Route 183 (Interlaken Road) in Stockbridge, a key connector between that town and downtown Lenox, has been set back by this month’s onslaught of torrential downpours and severe thunderstorms, said Town Administrator Michael Canales.

Because of recent storms, the water level in Larrywaug Brook was too high, so work by J.H. Maxymillian, the new project contractor, had to be suspended for 11 working days so far this month, including Monday, Canales told The Eagle. About a month of work remains in the stream bed.

The $2.6 million project, designed more than six years ago, has required major detours affecting traffic bound to and from Tanglewood, Berkshire County Day School, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and residences in the Interlaken neighborhood among other destinations. The target date for completion is now November or December, Canales said. The original deadline was Oct. 31.

Work resumed to replace the structurally failing bridge last spring, which had been closed since June 2020. The project involving the span just north of the Berkshire Botanical Garden at the intersection of Route 183 and Route 102 had been set back and had to be rebid following a partial rebuild after problems developed with a previous contractor, fueling a shake-up in the town Highway Department’s leadership.

The project is funded by a combination of $1.5 million in state grants, a 20-year town bond and a $200,000 transfer from stabilization reserves. Last month, annual town meeting voters approved an additional $135,000 to cover unanticipated costs that could affect the construction.

A series of annual state Department of Transportation inspections had described severe deficiencies afflicting the bridge over Larrywaug Brook. In May 2016, state inspectors deemed the bridge “in danger of imminent failure,” rating it only 3 on a 10-point scale, meaning that it was close to being shut down by the state.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.