ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received three bids for the nearly $1 million Hoosac Valley Rail Station Platform Project.
The bids opened on Thursday are to construct a boarding platform at the Hoosac Station at 4 Hoosac St. that would allow passengers to board the Berkshire Scenic Railway that extends to North Adams.
"I am excited we received three bids," interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan said Thursday. "This is going to be a great project."
The nonprofit scenic rail switched its boarding to Adams this fall after the construction of the last six-tenths of a mile of track by the state Department of Transportation, which owns the line. Dubbed the Hoosac Valley Service, the scenic rail's began operating its Budd car just two years ago after the completion of the state's purchase of the largely unused rail spur.
The nearly hourlong weekend rides had been ending at Renfrew Street, where the track ends, until this this fall. The decision was made to board at Adams because of the infrastructure already available.
Adams spent more than a half-million in grants and local funding to purchase and rehabilitate a closed car wash into the welcoming area for the train and Ashuwillticook Rail Trail; directly across the street is the Visitors Center and public parking.
Last month, the Selectmen Chairman John Duval helped cut the ribbon at the launch of the Tinseliner, the volunteer organization's Christmas special that ended this past weekend. Though the ride began in Adams, it stopped at the terminus in North Adams to allow passengers to deboard and have hot chocolate and chose among the Christmas trees being sold to benefit Popcares Inc.
"It's gratifying to our vision coming together little by little with the Adams facility and now reaching North Adams," said Jay Green, president and general superintendent, at the ribbon cutting. "The final vision is we'll be able to use Adams Station as a welcoming facility ... and we'll have the full level platform. ...
"They're going to try so it matches the mill architecture and the industrial heritage of the town and to match the Adams Station as well. It's going to be very convenient."
Green said the completion of the rail line, and the new boarding platform, will allow the nonprofit to begin bigger advertising push. It's ridership is at about 10,000 during its summer weekend service. The two communities and the state see the scenic rail as a positive economic development in bringing in visitors.
The lowest base bid for the platform came from Northern Construction Service LLC at $827,138 with two alternate base bids of $748,138 and $714,919.
The highest bid came from Salco Construction Co. Inc. with a submitted base bid of $1,179,210.
In the middle is J & M Geary Construction Inc. that offered a base bid of $971,661 with two alternative base bids of $948,631 and $967,004.
Cesan said the project engineer HDR Inc. will review the bids and make a recommendation. The town is working with MassDOT on the design and bidding of the passenger platform. The project is likely to commence in the spring.
The timber platform will have metal railings, a canopy and stairs. The platform will be supported on reinforced concrete foundations.
The project will also include a walkway, chain link fence, electrical and the installation of wayfinding signs.
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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen.
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important.
Only two candidates will be interviewed Thursday for the Adams Cheshire Regional School District superintendent position with candidate Martin McEvoy withdrawing his name from consideration. click for more
The Parks Commission on Monday took care of most of the fall requests for field usage. Four separate groups were represented and although a few issues cropped up, all requests were approved. click for more
Adams Conservation Commission praised the use of an organic herbicide on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
At Thursday’s commission meeting members discussed the process that resulted in an organic herbicide being applied along the trail to knock down some overgrown vegetation. click for more