Park Square to be lighted



After a three-month delay in the completion of the project, the circular traffic pattern that has directed drivers from South Street to North Street since the late 1940s will be replaced with the original two- way traffic " before Thursday," a state transportation official said Monday.

Ann Dufresne, speaking on behalf of the Massachusetts Highway Department, said the new traffic lights recently installed are being tested and should be activated today or Wednesday.

MassHighway initially had planned to switch traffic patterns by the end of September, but the state agency twice delayed the change because a subcontractor was overdue in delivering the new traffic-signal equipment to Pittsfield.

" Hopefully the switch takes place this week," said Bruce Collingwood, the commissioner of Public Works and Utilities for Pittsfield. "It's been a long time coming."

While new traffic lights were erected more than a week ago, state officials were waiting for the Western Massachusetts Electric Company to install a service line to the new signals. WMECO officials said the installation is being completed this week.

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In addition, local and state officials said the old traffic lights and the temporary construction barriers must be removed before the rotary is eliminated.

The $ 2.6 million project is one of four totaling $ 6.4 million that MassHighway is overseeing to improve the traffic flow and aesthetics of the Park Square area. Contractors already have installed new traffic lights at the intersections of West and Center streets and West Housatonic and South streets.

The West and Center lights were activated earlier this month, while the ones at West Housatonic and South streets have yet to take over for the existing signals.

Now that winter has settled in, MassHighway officials said all four projects will be completed by next spring.

As for the streetscape project on South Street from West Housatonic to Park Square, state officials have said the last major item is paving that stretch of road by May.

"Some of the new street lights on South Street also need to be worked on," Collingwood said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:, or (413) 496-6233.


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