Holmes Road bridge reduced to one lane after poor rating by state

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PITTSFIELD — Motorists on the heavily traveled Holmes Road can expect delays as the bridge crossing the railroad tracks will be down to one lane — indefinitely.

By the Wednesday afternoon commute, workers with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will have placed concrete barriers blocking off the northbound lane of the bridge and installed a temporary traffic signal to control the flow of vehicles over the span.

On Monday, MassDOT crews temporarily closed the lane with orange cones to mark out where to put the barriers and study the one-lane traffic configuration.

MassDOT spokesman Patrick Marvin says the bridge is safe for vehicular traffic, but a new one is likely needed.

"A recent load-rating analysis was completed and found that one of the 10 bridge beams has an issue, which needs to be addressed," he said in an email to The Eagle.

Marvin added the agency is evaluating its options, which include replacing the state-owned bridge. The state has yet to determine cost estimates to repair or replace the span and how long that will take.

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City Hall is keeping close tabs on the bridge work, according to Pittsfield Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy.

"We are working with MassDOT to ensure the public is aware of traffic impacts," Turocy told The Eagle. "We will continue our efforts to coordinate with the state and provide updates and information to residents as available."

MassDOT has already placed a digital sign near the Holmes Road-Pomeroy Street intersection alerting drivers to the one-lane bridge.

Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell wants additional signage given the state gave such short notice about narrowing the span.

"I was notified by the city on Sunday and quickly got word out to my constituents," he said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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