NORTH ADAMS -- Repairs to damage on Crest Street, caused by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene, should be completed before the end of December.
"We're hoping to have [the construction crews] out of there before Christmas," Public Works Commissioner Timothy Lescarbeau said Monday. "Currently, the crews are preparing to pour the concrete for the footings of the retaining wall that is needed."
In August 2011, flood waters washed out the section of Crest Street near an intersection with Burnham Street, exposing a water main and damaging a culvert and a retaining wall that held up the road. The road has been closed to through traffic since the storm.
E. T. & L. Construction Corp., out of Stow, began working on the repairs in early October. The company has previously worked on the Harriman & West Airport runway project and was responsible for stabilizing sections of Route 2 in Charlemont and Savoy that were washed out by Tropical Storm Irene.
"They had to excavate the whole site before any work could be done," he said. "The company needs to put the right-sized culvert in there, as well as put in a new retaining wall and replace the water and sewer lines that were exposed. It's a big hole."
Mayor Richard J. Alcombright said the size of the hole in the road created by the excavation process is a great visual explanation of the work and engineering needed to correct the damage.
"It just seems to validate the time and concern that has gone into this project," he said Monday.
Before putting the project out to bid in August, engineering and design plans went through three iterations before city officials were satisfied. The project was complicated by the 40-degree incline of the slope of the retaining wall.
In addition to the engineering hold-up, the repairs also had to be approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the city's Conservation Commission. Both signed off on the project by the middle of July.
The project was awarded to E. T. & L. Construction at a bid price of $395,000 and was included in a $2.2 million borrowing order for Irene-related repairs last December.
The city will be responsible for only 25 percent of the repair costs on Crest Street, with the other 75 percent being reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Lescarbeau said repairs to Bluff Road should take place in the spring.
"We're working on a bid proposal for that right now," he said. "We need a new retaining wall and a few other upgrades done there."
Bluff Road, which connects to Crest Street, was also damaged by flood waters from Irene. However, the side street has been closed since it was damaged by a storm in 2005.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email email@example.com.