Rust and revealed rebar under the Cross Road Bridge.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Town officials are hoping to see work begin on the Cross Road Bridge as early as next year.
Town Administrator Carl McKinney told the Select Board on Wednesday that he had completed about a 40-page application and personally delivered the application to the District 1 offices of the state Department of Transportation in Lenox and to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in Pittsfield.
"Those are the two powers that be, for lack of a better word, that are in control of the Transportation Improvement Program as well as the capital improvement program," he said. "They find a need, and I think we have a need there."
The multiyear TIP program is overseen by the Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Organization, which makes recommendations for using federal funds toward road and bridge projects that fit into regional planning.
The concrete Cross Road Bridge was reduced to one lane at the beginning of August by order of the state because of it's deterioration. The bridge dates back about 50 or 60 years.
Town officials have been aware of bridge's condition for some time but two other bridges — on East Road and Gates Avenue — were a higher priority at the time.
The East Road Bridge had been scheduled for replacement because of general deterioration but Tropical Storm Irene caused its west side to severely buckle. It was closed for a year while the town pursued state and federal funding, but finally had to use up Chapter 90 funds to fix it. It took three years to get the Gates Avenue Bridge, the only access to homes on the west side of Wheeler Brook, replaced.
Between them, the two projects ate up more than a half-million of the town's Chapter 90 road funds. The town's hoping to get outside funding for this next bridge project.
"We've done some preliminry engineering on it, if we are to replace it as is, it would be about $2 million," McKinney said of the Cross Road Bridge. "Looking for alternatives, we're strongly leaning toward doing an aluminum arch on footings, and extending it 5 feet farther south to accommodate our Complete Streets program for pedestrians — a shared lane for pedestrians and bicyclists."
The state and MPO looked favorably on the application, he said, which has been reviewed and sent to Boston.
Chairman Jeffrey Levanos thanked McKinney on the board's behalf for the time and effort that went into the application.
"We know that was a lot of hard work and effort and it looks like it's going to pay off," he said.
McKinney said he was hopeful the project could be added to the Transportation Improvement Plan.
"I am cautiously optimistic we will not be waiting five years to get this thing done," he said. "And if we get some good tailwinds, I'll hope for next year."
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