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MassDOT is holding a public hearing Thursday on a proposed reconstruction of East Street between Lyman and Merrill Road.

MassDOT Holding Hearings on East Street, Holmes Road Projects

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Department of Transportation is holding two hearings in the next month for projects on East Street and Holmes Road. 
 
The public hearing for the reconstruction of East Street between Lyman and Merrill Road will be held on Thursday, July 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.  
 
• The informational hearing for the bridge replacement over the Housatonic Railroad on Holmes Road will be held Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum.
 
The $7.2 million East Street reconstruction will consist of widening of the roadway to create 12-foot travel lanes, as well as turn lanes and a possible raised median to separate traffic. About 3,000 feet of road will undergo a full-depth reconstruction with the addition of bicycle lanes and sidewalks along each side of the street. 
 
The road will also get federally compliant wheelchair ramps at the intersections; two formal Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus stops; reconstructed traffic signals at the intersections of East Street (Route 9) with Woodlawn Avenue and with Merrill Road; reconstruction of the existing storm drain infrastructure; water line replacement; and new pavement markings and signs. East Street (Route 9) within the project limits consist of both city of Pittsfield layout as well as State Highway layout.
 
The area is considered a gateway into the city and so will feature landscaping and pedestrian amenities. 
 
A secure right-of-way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The city and the state are responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT's policy concerning land acquisitions will be presented in the hearing.
 
The project is currently at 25 percent design and will be funded through the 2024 Transportation Improvement Program.
 
The Holmes Road bridge hearing is to provide residents information on the progress of the bridge that has been closed to two-way traffic since March 2019 because of "severely deteriorated" beams on the east side. The bottleneck has upset residents along the road as vehicles are often lined up in front of their driveways waiting to get through. 
 
MassDOT officials earlier this month said the project was on track for construction next year. The project is currently pre-25 percent design but meeting will present what's planned for the replacement superstructure. 
 
The proposal includes replacing the entire span with a new structure that will have 10-foot lanes, a sidewalk on the east side, a safety curb on the west, and two 5-foot shoulders for bicycle lanes in both directions. 
 
Written comments for the Holmes Road bridge project can be submitted to Carrie Lavallee, acting chief engineer, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, or to MassDOTProjectManagement@dot.state.ma.us. The must be emailed or postmarked Aug. 5 and sent as Attention: Project Management, Project File No.611955. (The deadline for mailed comments has passed for the East Street project.)

Tags: MassDOT,   public hearing,   road work,   

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BCC Announces New Hires, Promotions

PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced the addition of ten new staff and faculty members, in addition to three promotions.  
 
New to BCC  
 
Chris Bodnar has joined BCC as Director of Procurement in the Administration and Finance Division, bringing 20 years of experience in buying, purchasing, planning and inventory management with KB Toys and a hardware store chain. He has studied business administration at the University of Connecticut, Houston Baptist University, Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT, and Berkshire Community College. A resident of Hillsdale, NY, he lives with his girlfriend Noreen and has three grown daughters. 
 
Lauri Byrnes has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant for Academic Advising in the One Stop Center for Student Success. Previously, she was the part-time office coordinator for Politis Family Chiropractic in Pittsfield for the past 10 years, along with other part-time positions she held throughout Berkshire County while attending college. She graduated from Berkshire Community College in 2017 with an associate degree in human services and from Maria College in 2021 with an associate of applied science degree in occupational health sciences. She and her husband Andy, who have five adult children, live in Lanesborough. 
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