WILLIAMSTOWN -- A major flooding problem in town is one step closer to being solved.
At Thursday's Conservation Commission meeting, representatives from the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) offered a potential solution to flooding over the state-maintained Route 2 near Main Street and The Spruces Mobile Home Park property.
Chanda and Mark Shin, of 103 Main St., previously attended a Selectmen's meeting on Sept. 9, where they urged the board to take action on severe flooding at their home.
"We're not talking about a wet basement," Chanda told officials Thursday. "We're talking about 30 minutes of rain and knee-deep water. We're talking about our safety."
Eric Bilek, an engineer for MassDOT, explained the problem lies in an undersized culvert that carries runoff underneath Route 2 and onto The Spruces property. A 36-inch culvert was installed in 1990, and can't handle storm water from Luce Road, he said.
A solution would be for the state to install a 54-inch culvert underneath the road, Bilek said. In addition, digging a drainage pond on The Spruces property would provide extra storage.
Bilek also gave his support to "daylighting" the brook that runs from Main Street, through The Spruces property and to the Hoosic River. The brook is currently contained in a pipe.
"I think DOT is on the right track," Department of Public Works Director Tim Kaiser said.
But Kaiser advised daylighting the brook may not be easy. A 46-inch sewer line from North Adams runs along the edge of the Hoosic River and lies underneath an artificial berm, he said.
"Breaching that berm could actually increase the frequency of flooding on the property," Kaiser said. "But as far as solving the issue of getting water from one side of Route 2 to the other, while minimizing impact to The Spruces property, I think this is a good plan that should be developed further."
Project Developer Mark Moore said if the culvert couldn't be installed this fall, it would have to wait until the spring.
Chairman Philip McKnight urged MassDOT to move as swiftly as possible, and to coordinate with town officials.
Commission members also gave their approval to MassDOT for a proposed resurfacing project on sections of routes 2 and 7.
MassDOT representative Nick Hopkins told attendees the proposed project will include Route 2 (Taconic Trail) from the New York state line east to the intersection of Route 7 (Cold Spring Road); Route 7 (Simonds Road) from the Vermont state line to Bulkley Street; and the business district on Route 2 (Main Street) to the North Adams line.
The project is scheduled to begin in April 2014, he said, and conclude in April 2015. The actual paving will only take one or two months in the warmer season and the roads will remain open during construction, he said.
Hopkins assured McKnight the new sidewalks installed this summer near the Main Street business district will be left intact.
To reach Edward Damon,