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The town and scenic rail line expect construction of a boarding platform to begin in the spring.

Adams Looking Toward Scenic Rail Boarding Platform

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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.  

Tags: bidding,   MassDOT,   scenic rail,   

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