BECKET, Massachusetts – Several towns in Berkshire are receiving more than $ 2 million in MassWorks funding, primarily for road repairs.
The funds were part of $ 66.5 million in grants to 50 communities announced last week by the Baker-Polito administration. The administration also launched the first round of grants under the Community One Stop for Growth program, which totals $ 88 million for projects in 122 Commonwealth communities, including the MassWorks Awards.
“MassWorks and the programs accessible through One Stop support local infrastructure projects that stimulate housing, workforce development and private investment,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “We value the partnership with the Legislative Assembly and local leaders to make these investments possible and look forward to our continued collaboration.”
The town of Becket received the biggest prize for the Berkshires: $ 1 million to rebuild McNerney Road, a local link between Route 8 to the south and the city of Washington to the north. The improvements will include a complete overhaul, widening of the road and shoulders for bicycle facilities.
McNerney Road provides an alternative route for regional and commercial traffic traveling north to the cities of Washington and Dalton and the city of Pittsfield. The route is used year round by Becket emergency vehicles, Washington residents, and is the most direct travel route for emergency responders to western Washington. Project improvements will address poor pavement conditions as well as narrow lanes which currently impact response times and result in unsafe travel conditions.
Peru received $ 927,000 for a resurfacing project on East Windsor Road. This project will reconstruct three miles of the highway, a conduit between Highway 143 and the cities of Peru and Windsor. The upgrades will include full depth reclamation as well as replacement of drainage culverts.
East Windsor Road is the main north-south route between Windsor and Route 143 via Peru. Poor pavement and drainage conditions make travel dangerous during storms, especially when temperatures are below freezing. Emergency vehicles are needed to reduce speed in order to travel safely. The improvements will increase transport safety as well as responsiveness in the event of an emergency.
Hancock will use $ 169,000 to pave Dee Roads, Goodrich Hollow Roads and Tower Mountain Roads, three dirt and gravel roads accessible only from New York State. The grant will only cover the cost of the paving; the city intends to do other work, including replacing culverts and adding gravel before paving. In addition to making the roads safer and easier to clear, the paving will also provide increased economic opportunities for Hancock from the income generated from the new housing that can be built along them. In addition to the recent high-speed Internet service, the city believes that the area served by these three routes will only increase in popularity and demand.
The Town of Great Barrington received $ 69,000 for its Housatonic homeownership project. The North Plain Road Housing Project is a collaboration of Great Barrington and Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. The Great Barrington Affordable Housing Trust Fund purchased 7.25 acres last year and granted development rights to Habitat to develop 20 affordable housing units.
As part of the Community One Stop for Growth program, Windsor received $ 32,000 to hire the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to assist in a master planning process. The city’s goal is to have a plan to present to the annual municipal meeting in May 2022.
Baker made the announcements to Lowell after canceling a trip to Charlemont last Wednesday due to severe storm damage in the Boston area. Charlemont received $ 720,000 to realign part of Route 8A, North Heath Road, 550 feet east to eliminate a sharp curve. Route 8A is the primary access route between Charlemont and Heath and is a popular connector to parts of Vermont. A new catchment area will be constructed and an existing culvert over Mill Creek will be improved to improve the city’s water quality. The existing portions of the roadway adjacent to the portion to be moved will be repaved.
Key words: road project,