MassDOT Promises To Finish Adams Roundabout DesignBy Andy McKeever
07:58PM / Thursday, November 08, 2012
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State transportation officials don't know where the money is coming from but they promised the town of Adams at least $105,000 to finish design work on a roundabout at the Route 8, Friend Street intersection.
MassDOT officials vowed at Thursday's MPO meeting to find the money to complete design on a proposed roundabout in Adams.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization, which serves under the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, previously stripped the project of $650,000 from a 2004 federal earmark.
Getting rid of that construction funding angered Adams officials because the project was already in the 25 percent design stage.
Adams officials had hoped that they could salvage at least a little bit of that funding, which was reallocated to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority for new buses and a maintenance facility roof, to finish the design.
On Thursday, the MPO voted in favor of allocating that money to BRTA after Clinton Bench, state Department of Transportation deputy director of planning, committed to providing at least $105,000 to finish the design.
"I haven't identified the funding source but we're committed to it," Bench said. "If nothing else, MassDOT will make non-federal funds available."
If the design comes from state funds, that $105,000 will not count as the town's contribution toward freeing up funds for the Greylock Glen project. The state has about $3 million set aside for the Glen project and the town needs to match it with either local or federal funds. The $650,000 was to be part of that contribution.
But Adams Town Administrator Jonathan Butler says he will take state funds over having the project shelved.
"I'm glad to have the engineering funds in place," Butler said after Thursday's MPO meeting. "With the money for 100 percent design, at least we can continue making progress."
MassDOT has also identified a possible funding source for construction in the future and will continue to look at state sources.
"I am confident that they will continue to work with us," Butler said.
Prior to Thursday's meeting, there was some question of whether BRTA could get the roof project under way by the end of the year, when the state would lose the federal earmark altogether if it wasn't used. On Thursday, BRTA Assistant Administrator Robert Malnati provided copies of the request for proposal showing the organization is on track to spend the money.
"We have the public notices ready to go," Malnati said.