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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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Regional Planning Commission Tackling County Housing Issue

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is taking steps to address the ever-growing problem of housing that Berkshire County faces.

"What we have been hearing and learning is that housing is becoming increasingly a problem in Berkshire County," Executive Director Tom Matuszko said at Thursday's commission meeting. "And a problem for a number of different ways and a number of different venues."

BRPC has partnered with countywide economic development organization 1Berkshire to develop a regional housing strategy, a policy that will set the stage for solutions and legislative support. The commission's former director, Nathaniel Karns has agreed to take this project on and help shepherd it through the process.

Matuszko explained that a group of planners and other housing-related entities has been formed to develop the regional strategy. This group will dive into the issue of housing in Berkshire County and brainstorm solutions whether it be a legislative fix, additional funding, or another programmatic element from the state government.

This initiative is not just about affordable or subsidized housing, Matuszko said, because you have to have higher-end housing for those in the applicable income bracket to move into, which then frees up more affordable housing for another group.

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