MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey announced today that work to reconstruct the six-mile section of Route 2 devastated by Tropical Storm Irene will begin early next week.
The roadway linking the communities of North Adams, Florida, Savoy, and Charlemont suffered major damage from the storm and flooding, making it impassable to traffic. Reconstruction is expected to cost $34.5 million and work under an accelerated bidding process will begin early next week. The roadway is expected to re-open to traffic by mid-December.
MassDOT has assembled a map showing the closed portion of Route 2 that suffered significant damage due to flooding from Tropical Storm Irene and outlining the current posted detour.
Route 2 is closed from Mile Marker 21.6 in Florida to Mile Marker 27.5 in Charlemont.
“Governor Patrick has been clear: reopening Route 2 is a top priority. We are working as quickly as possible to open the road again for safety and connectivity reasons, but also to reopen a popular area for tourism,” said Secretary Davey.
Route 2 is a critical roadway for affected communities and businesses, connecting residents to key arteries including I-91 and to Albany, New York.
Highway Administrator DePaola said the combination of roadway washout and substantial damage to retaining walls, and man-made slopes, will require an innovative approach to re-opening the road.
“What we’ll be doing is breaking down the repairs into separate jobs so that contractors can get out there and begin work simultaneously in order to get this road back open to traffic,” said Administrator DePaola.
The work is being done under an expedited bidding process, with designs completed, bids solicited, and contracts signed in a span of three weeks. Two areas of slope repairs and road reconstruction in North Adams and Florida will begin immediately at a total cost of approximately $11.5 million.
A separate $7.5 million expedited contract early in October will include reconstruction of Route 2 farther east in the towns of Savoy and Charlemont. A final estimated $15.5 million contract this fall will include reconstruction of portions of retaining walls between Savoy and Charlemont, which can occur with the road re-opened to traffic. MassDOT will seek federal reimbursement for costs associated with these repairs.