Clarksburg Bridge Work Halted Until Storm Passes

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Kenyon Brook is flowing along its normal path after last week's heavy rains blew out the water diversion tube installed as part of the prep work for the new culvert on East Road.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Water woes continue to plague the East Road Bridge project.

Officials had hoped to have the bridge open before the end of October but a delayed culvert, last week's heavy rain and an approaching hurricane have set the project back a couple weeks.

"[The rain] took out the hay bales and took out the dewatering tube," said Town Administrator Thomas Webb at Wednesday's meeting. "They're really waiting now for the culvert to come in."

Maxymillian Construction had diverted Kenyon Brook's flow into the North Branch through a large tube to prepare the site for the installation of the culvert. The force of the water broke the tube and sent the brook back on its original course.

And the truck carrying the precast culvert apparently broke down in West Virginia; it arrived on Thursday morning and the culvert is now waiting over at Krutiak's lumberyard.

Thursday morning at the site, Webb said work won't begin again until after any danger from Hurricane Sandy had passed. The hurricane, which forecasters have dubbed "Frankenstorm," is expected to barrel up the East Coast and hit early next week with winds, rain and snow.

The bridge has been closed since last year's Tropical Storm Irene undermined the already detiorating culvert system. Webb did not expect any difficulties getting the culvert in after the latest storm passes.

The Gates Avenue culvert, also damaged by Irene, went out to bid for replacement on Wednesday with bids due on Nov. 14.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, Chairman Carl McKinney raised the possibility of electrical generation from the city's capped landfill when reviewing the regular monitoring report from Stantec.

"I would like to see if Stantec has the capacity to evalute if whether there is any recoverable methane from the landfill, and usable, and if so, we get a proposal and/or a cost on what this might cost," said McKinney. "I think it would be in line with their landfill monitoring, which goes on for an eternity."

Stantec has been contracted to monitor the capped landfill to ensure it hasn't moved.

Selectman Jeffery Levanos asked if there would be enough methane left to make it worthwhile. McKinney said there had been talk of tapping into the emissions long before he had been on the board.

"We've got about 50 years of junk, garbage and debris decaying under there," McKinney said. "And I can't imagine it's all gone at this point."

In other business, the board:

• Approved the short-term hiring of former Highway Foreman Joseph Tatro to fill in until mid-November while one of the three-man highway crew is out sick.

• Approved the sewer connection for property on 50 Belmar Drive owned by David Johnson.

• Approved the cartographic contract for 2012 tax mapping, an annual maintenance agreement.

• Reviewed a Western Massachusetts Connect Survey on broadband service providers used by the town, part of the regional broadband project, and a letter on the Time Warner Cable internal restructuring that is not expected to have any effect on consumers.

Tags: bridge,   Irene,   road project,   

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