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The Lakeway bridge has been one-lane since 2012; it will reopen as two lanes with pedestrian access on Friday.

Reconstructed Pittsfield Bridge to Reopen on Friday

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The long closed Lakeway Drive bridge will be reopened two lanes of traffic on Friday after a $2.7 million reconstruction.
 
The bridge over an inlet of Onota Lake near Peck's Road had been on the state's bridge repair list since 2000. 
 
The concrete bridge was closed in 2012 after it was found to be structurally deficient. The 1936 span showed significant corrosion, spalling of the concrete, and severe deterioration of its steel girders, which caused the bridge to be load-restricted. A temporary, one-lane steel bridge was installed over the older bridge, with stop signs on each end.
 
The state Department of Transportation put the project out to bid in 2019 with the anticipation all work would be completed in 2021. 
 
The temporary bridge was closed on Aug. 17 to facilitate rehabilitation operations which included new precast abutments, precast beams, and railing and approach work. The newly-reconstructed bridge will be open for travel by late afternoon on Friday.
 
The project also includes additional construction operations, such as paving the roadway, conducting pavement markings work, and removing the detour at the Controy Pavilion, which are anticipated to be completed in the spring 2021.
 
The cost of the bridge rehabilitation project was $2,688,888 and the contractor for the project is New England Infrastructure of Hudson. It was funded through the 2019 Transportation Improvement Plan.
 
MassDOT said it appreciates the patience of the traveling public during this necessary repair and maintenance work.
 
Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution. All scheduled work is weather dependent.

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MassWildlife Asks Public Not to Feed 'GE Deer'

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If you have ever driven down New York Avenue and seen the deer grazing behind the fencing that encases General Electric's property, it is likely that you have been inclined to feed them.

Though this action is rooted in kindness, it is not healthy for the woodland friends and could be fatal, which is why MassWildlife has put up signs asking that residents do not throw food over the fences.

"Obviously, people see the deer in there and they probably think 'what are they going to eat? They're limited in there they're stuck in there.'  I will say, they're definitely not stuck in there," MassWildlife's wildlife biologist Nathan Buckhout said.

For decades, the deer have found an unlikely sanctuary in the former GE site that includes two landfills, Hill 78 and Building 71. Buckhout explained that they have been there for decades, spawning offspring and becoming completely self-sufficient within the fenced area.

"They're doing just fine," he said. "And they obviously are getting enough food and water, otherwise their population would be limited, they wouldn't be able to produce their offspring so there would be fewer fawns, and eventually they probably would have disappeared — but they haven't."

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