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Highway crews were keeping an eye on the banking along Beaver Street.
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Debris from Friday morning's collapse was scattered across the road.

North Adams Closes Beaver Street Over Mudslide Fears

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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A section of the embankment collapsed into the road early Friday morning.

Update on Monday evening, April 21: Beaver Street has been reopened. Motorists are advised to use caution in the area of the rock slide; traffic cones are set up around the area.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Beaver Street will remain closed over the weekend as crews work to stabilize a deteriorating embankment.

Chunks of the rock formation collapsed into the roadway at about 3 a.m. Friday morning. Crews were planning to "peck away" at the ledge to remove weakened sections and to cut some of the trees on the slope above to reduce pressure, said Mayor Richard Alcombright on Friday.

"State geologists looked at the slope erosion and based on their recommendations, the road will remain closed throughout the weekend," the mayor later stated in an email message.

Once the debris has been cleared away and the situation considered stable, jersey barriers will be placed around the section and warning lights put in place to attempt to at least get the road open by Tuesday.

The state highway, Route 8, is blocked off between Bluff Road and the Clarksburg town line; detour signs have been set up at the Union and Beaver streets intersection, on River Road at the Middle Road intersection, and at Cross and Middle roads.

Update April 16, 3:50 p.m.: Route 8 in North Adams will be closed for an indefinite period.

State geologists evaluated the embankment on Wednesday. DPW Director Paul Markland said they had offered suggestions, but in the meantime, the roadway will remain closed.

The mayor and Public Services Superintendent Timothy Lescarbeau had been meeting this afternoon to formulate a plan.

"We might be able to do some stabilization, it's hard to say," said Markland. "I can't  really give you a true answer until he talks to the mayor."

Officials are concerned that the steep hillside along Beaver Street could collapse.

Original post: April 15, 2014, at 4:27 p.m.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city closed a section Beaver Street at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday because of fears of a mudslide or banking collapse along a section of the state highway.

Local officials said the closure is "because of slope erosion on the easterly side of the road and the possibility of further erosion with the heavy rain."

Several hundred yards of the street, which is also Route 8, have been sectioned off just south of the Clarksburg town line and traffic is being detoured until further notice.

 "We have a geologist coming in tomorrow and, hopefully, we will have some answers by then," said Public Services Superintendent Timothy Lescarbeau.

The well-traveled connector road to Vermont runs between the North Branch of the Hoosic River on the east and a steep banking on the west side in the area that has been closed off.

A Code Red notification was sent out by the city explaining the closure shortly after the road was shut off. It's not clear at this time if anyone had been evacuated; there are some homes along the river near the stretch of roadway that was closed and another house in Clarksburg that is situated on the other side of the river.

Section of the banking apparently collapsed Monday night. Jersey barriers were set up around the deteriorating section.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said state geologists were expected on Wednesday to evaluate the situation and advise on how to proceed.

This article will be updated.

Tags: banking,   flooding,   road closure,   

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