Archive for category Highway Department
Posted in Highway Department on March 5, 2013
After several years of surveys, planning and engineering, the state has officially started working on replacing the bridge on Alford Road. More surveys were conducted over the past few weeks, and the preparation work started about a week ago. Numerous signs have been put up around the bridge and around town center (which have yet to be unveiled) to warn drivers of the ongoing construction and traffic delays, and to indicate convenient detour routes.
There will eventually be a traffic light at the Alford Road bridge. (Most of you remember the novelty of the traffic light at the East Road bridge several years ago, which was the first traffic light in Alford’s history.) The traffic light will allow one lane to be open most of the time during the construction process. There may be a few days during this process when the road will be closed to through traffic, and signs will indicate these closures when they occur.
Both Monty Green of the Alford Highway Department and Richard Robarge of the Alford Police Department urge all drivers to watch their speed, to drive cautiously and to be mindful of the state workers in the work area. I have not been given an estimated completion date for the bridge project, but the bridge on East Road took approximately two and a half years to complete, which seems to be a logical estimate.
Posted in Highway Department on August 4, 2011
National Grid will be trimming trees in town, and Asplundh Tree Expert Company will be doing the work. Please watch for work signs, drive cautiously in work areas, and watch for workers and equipment in the roadways. If you have any questions, you can call Keith Harres 1-413-214-9025 or e-mail KHarris@Asplundh.com. You can also contact me.
Alford Highway Dept and Tree Warden
Posted in Highway Department on February 9, 2011
Due to the difficulties with the weather and the ongoing snow removal, the town asks that there is no parking on the public roadways from November 1st through April 1st. This eliminates safety issues, will help our highway department to get their job done, and will also prevent possible damages to your vehicles. Thank you.
Posted in Highway Department on October 13, 2008
(Written by Ronney Rosenberg)
You know the big red trucks. You know the garages in the center of town. You recognize the year-round stellar condition of Alford’s roadways, roadsides, tree-free phone and electric lines and drainage culverts, but did you know the Highway Department works to get State and other municipal funding for large infrastructure projects, i.e. the East Road bridge and new road maintenance equipment? Do you know the Alford Highway Department staff, or the Alford Highwaymen?
Monty Green, Alford’s Highway Superintendent (and Tree Warden) has been working for the town for almost 20 years. He started when the Alford highway “fleet” was a dump truck, a “one-ton” truck and a circa 1948 grader pieced back-together by Monty, and the fleet was housed in a small 3-bay garage with a dirt floor and wooden stove.
Monty advised that in 1997, MA law changed, and State Chapter 90 funds for black-topping, could be used to purchase and maintain Highway equipment. Alford used some of these funds to build the “new” garage and created a 5-10 year truck and equipment replacement cycle. The town’s officials were sensitive to new garage development in the Alford Center Historical District, and expanding the garage, therefore the Selectmen insured that the new structure would not be “offensive” by checking site lines and approving the white color of the external façade. Monty describes Alford’s current fleet as “top notch.” While residents often see the Highway Department’s two red flatbed truck patrolling the roads, the town also has a new tractor/mower and backhoe, as well as a six wheel, “Big Red” dump truck. Running water in the new garage enables the Highway Department to better maintain the fleet by washing down the trucks as needed. Monty still maintains the town’s old 1948 built grader even though its retirement is on the horizon. Over the last couple of years, the Highway Department has spent a significant portion of its budget on hard-surfacing and oiling the old dirt roads so grading will not be necessary.
Richard Robarge, Alford’s Public Works Employee joined Monty in the Highway Department a couple of years after Monty started working for the town. You may know Richard as the Animal Control Warden who rids your property of pesky raccoons, or the town’s “Chief of Police” who issues pistol permits, and is the liaison to the Department of Homeland Security, manages contracting with the State Troopers in Lee and attends State meetings to secure Chapter 90 funds to support the work of Alford’s Highway Department.
The responsibilities of the Alford Highwaymen include: black-topping paved roads, hard-surfacing old dirt roads with oil and stone, and grading the remaining dirt roads the old 1948 grader, as well as mowing sidings – with the new tractor and ditch-bank mower, trimming of roadside trees or working with the phone and electric companies to trim trees, and improving drainage by cleaning catch basins and culverts. However, not all roadside water issues are easily cleared. As MA State law governs what Alford can do about beavers and their dams, Monty and Richard work with the town’s conservation commission on solutions to water and beaver-created wetlands issues.
The Highway Department contracts with additional staff to work on a number of projects. MA State law governs the number of people required to do certain types of Highway Dept. work, i.e. operation of the paver/roller truck (3 people) and chain saw work (2 people). In addition to full-time employees, Monty and Richard, Alford’s Highway Department pays Arthur Dellea to work part-time on road and roadside maintenance. A long time Alford resident and home-owner, Arthur is proud to work for the town and help out when needed. You may know Arthur because he maintains the town Web site, runs an Alford-based local computer consulting business, is working to bring high-speed internet service to Alford…and enforces payment of the annual dump (transfer station) pass fees! Arthur stated that the town fees for the dump are relatively reasonable compared to other Berkshire towns.
The Highwaymen don’t run the dump operations. Alford has put its dump operations out to bid for the last 12-15 years, and the “Master Garbologist” has the current contract. The friendly part-time dump overseer on Tuesday and Saturday mornings is a Master Garbologist sub-contractor, Richard Dennis. Richard Dennis is an accomplished musician. If you’re lucky you’ll hear Richard’s version of “Misty” on the sax wafting out of the garage while you’re separating your recyclables!