Looking Back at Irene: Mohawk Trail

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One of the Twitter hashtags iBerkshires frequently used in describing some of the damage around the county was #Irenebrokemyroad. That was never so true as in the case of Route 2.
 

by the numbers
• Excavation: 37,000 cubic yards
Trench excavation: 28,000 cubic yards
Channel excavation: 50,000 cubic yards
Fill deposited: 78,000 cubic yards
Rip rap installed: 78,500 tons
Gabion walls erected: 5,300 cubic yards
Stabilized slope construction: 12,000 square yards
Steel piles driven: 2,300 feet
Soldier pile & lagging walls: 1,000 feet

Some 13 miles of the historic Mohawk Trail was buried, broken, washed away, undermined or otherwise made impassable after the passage of Irene. The damage left small towns along the state highway isolated, their residents forced to take long detours to reach schools, stores and hospitals. It cut off North Berkshire from I-91 and Greenfield.

It also disrupted the important fall foliage season for tourists, shops and motels and delayed the ability of some to begin college classes on time.

Word was the highway wouldn't open for at least a year, maybe two.


On Friday, Sept. 30, just a month after the storm, state officials pledged to get the road restored by Dec. 15. They beat that deadline by two days.

The massive effort, costing around $23 million, was recognized on Monday, Aug. 27, as the American Public Works Association's Public Works Project of the year. The total cost for repairing the containments along the Cold River along with the highway, bridges and slopes was expected to be more than $36 million.

The Mohawk Trail was just the biggest project; dozens of smaller roads and culverts were damaged, particularly in the higher elevations.

According to our reports at the time, MassDOT listed more than 25 separate, damaged road locations, including along Route 2, Route 8, Route 20, and Route 112. The Massachusetts Turnpike also sustained damage.

A map of the closed roadways show a north/south pattern along the county's eastern edge and into neighboring Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Sections were being repaired that day, or waiting for the waters to recede or, in some cases, for months. Some are still not fully repaired a year later, including Crest Street in North Adams, East Road Bridge in Clarksburg and the Charles Street Bridge in Adams. All three locations were topics in recent articles as local officials have sought ways to fund or engineer their replacements. 

Overall, Western Mass. received some $41 million in federal aid for infrastructure repairs related to Irene.
 

 

 

 

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 12-18

Next Thursday, July 18 is 3rd Thursday: Food & Drink!
July's 3rd Thursday celebrates the city's cuisine, with more than a dozen food vendors popping up at the celebration, along with the two dozen brick-and-mortar restaurants that dot North Street. There will be almost 100 vendors in all! 
 
3rd Thursday's presenting sponsor, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, will be offering FREE snow cones at Palace Park. The Boy Scouts of America will be bringing its rock climbing wall, and Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness will offer FREE Zumba in Park Square. 
 
Entertainment will be provided by Berkshire Bateria, Jacob's Pillow and Music in Common, plus enjoy a sneak peak at Barrington Stage and Ragtag Theatre's  Hansel and Gretel and Berkshire Theatre Group's Shrek The Musical. 5-8 p.m.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS!
 
The Let's Go Pink Art Exhibition is a cancer awareness exhibit that will be on view at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield throughout October, 2019. The opening reception will be Friday, Oct. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of that month's First Friday Artswalk. A portion of all sales will benefit two local organizations: 20% of sales to BTG PLAYS!, 15% of sales to BMC Integrative Health Program's intuitive painting class for cancer patients, and the other 65% to the artist. Submissions will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 6. All artists will be notified of acceptance on or before Sept. 9. For more information, please email the Let's Go Pink 2019 team at auntsessy1@gmail.com.
  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
 
100 Years of Nat King ColeCelebrate the centennial birthday of the unforgettable Nat King Cole with timeless songs and intimate stories told and sung by two-time Grammy nominee Clint Holmes, accompanied by award-winning pianist and vibraphonist Christian Tamburr. Mr. Finn's Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company. 
Plus...  
FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Hunks: The Show at The A | FRI Lita Williams at Hotel on North | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Jessica Wilson at Rusty Anchor | SAT Food for Thought Dinner w/Simon Winchester at Hancock Shaker Village | SAT Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party at Polish Falcons | SAT Jason & Trev at J. Allen's | SAT Dan Gingras at Rusty Anchor | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Green Drinks at J. Allen's | WED Live on the Lake: Shyne at Onota Lake | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU Lady Di & The Dukes at Mazzeo's | THU Fabrizio & The Fever at Rainbow | THU The Picky B's at Mission
  FAMILY FRIENDLY

Explore the science of YOU during this annual celebration of science, invention and sensory fun! Explore the brain, transform into a germ, follow the life of a sneeze and more. Don't miss the grand finale at 7:15 p.m. Berkshire Museum. FREE, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
 
Plus...
FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum FRI Yoga for Kids at Berkshire Athenaeum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at Berkshire Children & Families | SAT Pop-up Play Day at Berkshire Museum | SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum SAT Sensory-friendly Screening: Incredibles 2 at Berkshire Museum SAT da Vinci After Hours at Berkshire Museum SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum | MON Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum MON Kindergarten Countdown at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Star Lab at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Stardust Cafe at Berkshire Athenaeum MON+ Learn to Code at Miss Hall's School TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum TUE Circus Minimus at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE Project SpaceCRAFT at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE Screening of Wall-E at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Little Gardeners of the Galaxy at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Solar System Paint & Snack at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Gallery Scavenger Hunts at Berkshire Museum THU Farm Friends at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum THU Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum THU Lego Lift Off at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum
  WELLNESS
SAT Restorative Yoga w/Live Music at BYDF
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