All three Mass. highway department employees associated with the highway district covering the Northern Berkshires, from North Adams to the New York line on routes 2 and 43 to the west and Lanesborough to the south to the Vermont line, were called out around 9 on Wednesday night to deal with water rushing over routes 2 and 7 between the Coyote Flaco restaurant and Bee Hill Road, where a culvert under the road had plugged solid.
They were still working to open the culvert and clear the road of mud, rocks and debris well after midnight. The torrential rains overwhelmed drains for a time, washed out driveways and generally made more of a nuisance than major troubles. No doubt there were more than a few very wet basements in the area as well.
The foreman, Frank McSorley, of Hancock; David Boone, the loader operator; and Brenda Baliakos, who often worked right in the loader bucket over the mud-and-silt-filled water with a bar and shovel to clear the muck from the culvert grating to allow the water to drain, performed their tasks quietly and very effectively. It was obvious to this observer that they had worked together before and had handled many similar situations.
Mr. McSorley began his career with the highway department in 1957 and continues to enjoy his job. I didn't happen to ask how long Brenda and Dave had been with the department, but all three clearly got along well and worked as a team to get the road opened again. Fortunately, due to the lateness of the hour, there was very little through traffic.
While we motorists often speed by these workers along our highway, we have no idea who they are and yet we all benefit by the condition in which they keep our roads and how they come out in all sorts of weather to deal with what nature throws our way.
Thank you Frank, David and Brenda.