Construction in North Adams Starts Tuesday

Construction in North Adams Starts Tuesday

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Construction in North Adams, Massachusetts, is set to commence on Tuesday, focusing on gas service installations and gas main replacements. The work will span from Tuesday to Friday, causing some traffic disruptions in the area.

Eagle Street will experience one-lane traffic from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for gas service installations. This will affect the stretch between River Street and Franklin Street.

At the intersection of Brooklyn Street and Houghton Street, a gas main replacement will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. One-lane traffic will be enforced on Brooklyn Street during this period.

Similarly, North Houghton Street and Wheeler Avenue will undergo gas main replacements from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. One-lane traffic will be in effect for the duration of the construction.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has also announced a significant project at Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams. This project, set to begin this spring, will span several years and involve multiple phases.

The initial phase will focus on removing existing infrastructure, including structures over the chasm, to address safety concerns. Subsequent phases will involve designing, planning, and installing new infrastructure that meets current safety standards. The project aims to improve safety and accessibility, enhancing the visitor experience and making better use of the park’s natural and cultural features.

DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo emphasized the importance of the project, stating, “Natural Bridge State Park is a great example of the beautiful natural resources the Commonwealth has to offer. The construction starting this spring will ensure that DCR can provide visitors to Natural Bridge State Park with a safe and fun experience.”

Natural Bridge State Park is renowned for its natural white arch made of 550-million-year-old bedrock marble, shaped by glacial melt over 13,000 years ago. The bridge spans Hudson Brook, which runs through a 60-foot gorge, showcasing one of the best examples of glacial erosion in New England. The park also features a marble quarry, glacial “potholes,” and North America’s only white marble dam, built in 1838.

The dam was initially used to supply water to an industrial quarry mill that operated from 1810 to 1947, when the mill was destroyed by fire. From 1950 to 1983, the site was privately owned and operated as a tourist attraction. In 1985, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts purchased the property to create Natural Bridge State Park.

Rep. John Barrett III (D-Berkshire) expressed his satisfaction with the investment, stating, “I am most pleased that DCR is making this investment to supplement the earmark that I secured in last year’s budget to revitalize and preserve this natural treasure.”

Senator Paul Mark (D-Berkshire) also praised the project, saying, “The redesign of Natural Bridge State Park to modernize and improve infrastructure will allow more people to enjoy this wonderful natural resource for many years to come. Every investment that is made to attract people to visit the Berkshires pays back dividends tenfold over time and also allows for our local residents to enjoy the beauty of this region we love so much. I am grateful to DCR and the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their partnership in stewardship of our local state parks.”

Due to safety concerns, DCR restricted access to older, hazardous structures in the chasm area in the spring of 2022. These structures will be fully removed this spring. Natural Bridge State Park will remain open to the public seasonally, from May to October, throughout the construction period. Access to certain areas of the park may be limited where construction is taking place. The pedestrian bridge over the chasm, offering a view of the marble dam, will remain accessible, along with other areas featuring blast rock, the marble quarry, and other natural and cultural features. Additionally, walking trails, the Visitor’s Center, and picnic areas will remain open.

The construction projects in North Adams, both for gas service installations and the redesign of Natural Bridge State Park, aim to improve infrastructure and enhance the overall experience for residents and visitors alike. These efforts reflect a commitment to safety, accessibility, and the preservation of natural and cultural resources in the area.