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Park Street's unstable understructure is causing cracking and deterioration. The street will get a new base and paving this fall.

Adams Preparing for Park Street Project in October

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The trolley tracks buried nearly a 100 years ago are emerging.
ADAMS, Mass. — Park Street businesses are being assured that road work this fall won't be as disruptive as the 2014 project that took three months.
"We're looking at repaving just the vehicle travel lane only. Compared to 2014 this is a much smaller and less comprehensive project," said Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin to a handful of attendees at Wednesday's information meeting at Town Hall. "We're not doing any work in the parking lane that is going to be untouched but probably unavailable for the duration of the project. This is just a vehicle lane only so it should be a fairly short, quick project."
The 2014 street project had includes sidewalks and ramps, sewer line and catch basin replacements and crosswalk bumpouts as well as repaving the entire street. Business owners had decried the upheaval that they said reduced patrons' ability to reach their doors. 
In this case, the sidewalks aren't being touched and the work should take weeks, not months. The hope is to get the reclamation done and at least a primary coat of asphalt on before winter to avoid having to deal repairs from another freeze and thaw season. Depending on weather, and when the asphalt plants close, the final coat might have to wait until spring. 
Coughlin said the road itself will remain open during the work but the travel lanes will shift into the parking areas along the street. Parking will still be available in public lots and the town was inquiring with some businesses about using their parking lots. 
About 1,100 feet of Park will undergo a full-depth reclamation, with an initial estimate cost of about $600,000, and sidewalk and other repairs along Columbia Street at about $200,000 using Chapter 90 road funds. The goal is to increase accessibility and replace aging infrastructure.
The road was milled and repaved in 2014 but since then, the unstable base of bricks and sediment has lead to cracking and potholes. The town's history is also revealing itself through the emergence of the metal tracks of the Berkshire Street Railway that were buried whole back in the 1930s. 
The contractor will go down about 6 inches, possibly more in some spots, to remove the tracks and other rubble and rebuild the road. Town Administrator Jay Green said the worst part was on the south end outside Town Hall — where the tracks can easily be seen — and that the street gets progressively better as moves north.
"I think the majority of the real invasive work is going to be here (pointing outside) and, knowing how they work, I don't think that'll be more than probably a week," he said. "Give or take."
But he and Coughlin cautioned throughout the meeting that they couldn't be sure of anything until the road was opened up. 
A study had called for a 10-inch reclamation, but, said Coughlin, "unfortunately it drove the project up into the millions of dollars. And it was just too much for us to accommodate at that time."
The Columbia Street work will consist of updating some sidewalk ramps and lighting at intersections and curbs. 
"This work is, compared to what's going to happen on Park Street, very small, there should be very, very minimal disruptions to traffic and to parking," Coughlin said. "I mean it probably won't be any parking in the vicinity of these work areas, but they're very small work areas."
Officials were asked if the work could be done at night to reduce disruptions but Green said that would put the cost beyond the town's capacity. Gail Sellers worried about the work starting before an event planned at the Adams Theater on Columbus Weekend but officials didn't think she had to worry. 
"I would think, don't hold me to this, I could be completely blown out of water by this, but I would find it hard to believe that Columbus Day weekend they're even mobilized," said Green. 
Bids for the project are due Sept. 28; the timelines and traffic configurations would be part of the negotiations so Green and Coughlin said they would have those answers once a contract is locked in.
They pledged to get information out through social media and on the website and to have another public meeting prior to the start of construction. 

Tags: Park Street,   road work,   

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Adams Charter School Runners Take Top Spots at League Meet Sports
GREENFIELD, Mass. – Ninth-graders Drew Svrluga and James Strange placed first and second, respectively, for the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Wednesday’s River Valley Athletic League cross country race at Four Rivers School.
It was the first time a pair of runners from the Adams charter school took the top two places in a league meet.
“I am so proud of our runners, especially Drew and James,” Wolf Pack coach Benn Griffin said. “These are two of the hardest working runners I've had the privilege of coaching over the last decade and a half. I believe if our entire team ran this race, we would have had a great chance for our team to take first place in the meet. This is a big confidence boost going into the middle of the season.”
The Adams charter school’s boys team placed third at the meet without one of its top three runners competing.
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