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The project is intended to improve transit through this section of the city.

BMC Area Intersection Reconstruction Delayed Again

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Public Services and Utilities David Turocy has put a halt on a $5.4 million project to improve the traffic areas around Berkshire Medical Center.
 
Turocy said on Tuesday that the design ultimately provided only minor improvements and did not improve transit time. The commissioner would rather delay the project for now in hopes to come up with a better design.
 
"At the end of the day, I have a project that improved access to BMC, reduced some of the traffic through there, added two bike lanes for two blocks, but didn't do much to reduce transit time at a cost of $5 million. As much as I like to make whatever improvements I can, that price tag just seems way out of reach for the benefit we would see," he said.
 
The project has been in the works for more than four years. Back in 2004, the city allocated some $172,000 toward the design work. That work was matched by the state to the tune of $349,997.
 
The concept was to align Charles Street with Springside Avenue, eliminate the fork dividing North and First Streets so all traffic continues down First Street, re-do the Springside Avenue intersection, and change the intersections of Charles and Wahconah. As it is now, there are multiple lights on North Street in close proximity.
 
In 2016, the design still hadn't progressed enough to use that year's federal funding allocation through the local Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the cost estimates then had increased to close to $7.3 million. It was delayed until 2018.
 
And as of Tuesday, that project is on hold indefinitely.
 
"We were not able to come up with what I felt was a worthwhile design. We have some possibilities that I am continuing to look at so we are keeping on it, but there is no way we'd be ready for next year," Turocy told the MPO.
 
He cited difficulties with the historic registrar and the need for land takings that weren't supported in Boston as adding to the complication.
 
"The area around BMC is very constrained and restricted. There just isn't a lot of geography to make improvements. The idea of trying to decrease transit time through there was very difficult," he said.
 
Turocy said he met with Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials, who provided new ideas.  But he said the absolute earliest he expects construction to be able to move forward is 2020.
 
The Metropolitan Planning Organization has just started the process of earmarking projects for the period between 2019 and 2023. That project, estimated at $5.4 million, is penciled in for construction in the federal fiscal 2021.

Tags: BMC,   intersection,   MPO,   traffic,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Nov. 15-21

Berkshire Museum will hold its annual Festival of Trees Preview Party on Friday, Nov. 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy delicious appetizers and beverages, including a signature cocktail, as you explore more than 100 dazzling holiday displays. This year's Festival of Trees theme, "Heroes," is sure to inspire. Party guests are invited to incorporate their own hero(es) into their evening's attire!

 
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

The Colonial presents Russian Ballet Theatre's new production of Tchaikovsky's timeless classic. Choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina lovingly retouches the oldest St. Petersburg version of the ballet, and adds her own vision, leaving audiences flushed with emotion. RBT's dancers perform with new hand-painted sets and new hand-sewn costumes. 7:30 p.m. $65 and up. $1 from every ticket will support local public school teachers and their classroom projects in Pittsfield and surrounding areas.
Plus... 
FRI J.C. Hill at Methuselah | FRI Connecting the Dots Story Slam at Dottie's | FRI Musical Bingo Fundraiser at The A | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI David Grover & Linda Worster at Bread & Roses Coffee House | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Brian Benlien at Hotel on North | FRI JB's Acoustic Gravel at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Desserts & Teen Music w/Zoe Lemos at Dottie's | SAT Elvis & Orbison Fundraiser at The Colonial | SAT Trailer Trash at The A | SAT Comedian Doug Smith at The Infield | SAT Livio Gravini at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Jason & Trev at Friends | SUN Frankentoy Lab at Thistle & Mirth | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Trivia Night at Methuselah | MON Jazz Night at Mission TUE PHS Chamber Orchestra Concert at Berkshire Athenaeum | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU The Picky B's at Mission

 
FAMILY FRIENDLY

 
 
Berkshire Paint & Sip invites children ages 6 and older (and adults, too!) to paint "Dog and Cat Sunset" on a large 16x20 canvas. All painting materials, two hours of instruction, snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments are included in the $25 fee. 1-3 p.m. Berkshire Paint & Sip is located at 305 North Street.
Plus...
FRI WeeMuse Adventures at Berkshire Museum | FRI Henry V at Taconic High School | FRI-SUN Gut Girls at Miss Hall's School FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at 18 Degrees SAT Pop-up Play Day at Berkshire Museum SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Family Scavenger Hunt at Berkshire Athenaeum SAT We Can Be Heroes at Berkshire Museum SAT Festival of Trees After Dark at Berkshire Museum | SAT Desserts & Teen Music w/Zoe Lemos at Dottie's SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum MON Tiny Tots Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE WeeMuse Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE PHS Chamber Orchestra Concert at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Petite Picassos at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Make & Take: Greeting Cards at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Preschool Play & Learn at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Lego Club at Berkshire Athenaeum

 
WELLNESS

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