Mt. Greylock became the first state park in Massachusetts in 1898 and has been retouched by man from time to time, decade to decade, in carving out more than 70 mi. of trails and nearly 14 mi. of access roads.
The beginning of November marked the end of a critical rehabilitation project atop the mountain, performed many months ahead of schedule by Maxymillian Technologies of Pittsfield, Mass.
According to senior project manager Tony Simonelli of Maxymillian, the project involved the reconstruction of the 13.8-mi. (22.2 km) Mt. Greylock roadway system.
The 13.8 mi. of historic parkway consist of three roads: Rockwell Road (7.3 mi. [11.7 km]), Notch Road (5.72 mi. [9.2 km]) and Summit Road (0.77 mi. [1.2 km]). The parkway’s winding route, naturalistic design and spectacular sequence of vistas reflect the design and craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a Depression-era public works program. Corps members completed the roads in 1939.
The goal of the project was to rehabilitate the historic parkway system in a manner that balances safety, recreation, conservation and historic landscape preservation.
Maxymillian’s work was intended to preserve and restore the historic features of the parkway, Simonelli said. This included clearing, roadway earth and rock excavation, pavement reclamation, full-depth roadway hot mix asphalt pavement, paved waterways, concrete retaining walls, cement mortared and dry laid stone walls, drainage culverts and structures from 18- to 48-in. (45.7 to 121.9 km) diameter, steel backed wood guide rail, pavement markings, signage, plant species transplanting, landscaping, scenic overlooks, vistas and other incidental work.
Simonelli added that the current project value was approximately $18 million.
Among the major work items on the project were:
• Earth excavation — approximately 33,500 cu. yd. (25,612.6 cu m)
• Rock excavation — approximately 22,000 cu. yd. (16,820 cu m)
• Gravel borrow — approximately 54,000 cu. yd. (41,286 cu m)
• Reinforced concrete drainage piping — approximately 8,000 linear ft. (2,438 m)
• Subdrain piping — approximately 61,600 linear ft. (18,776 m)
• Bituminous concrete paving — approximately 70,000 tons (63,503 t)
• Steel backed wood guide rail — approximately 20,000 linear ft. (6,096 m)
• Stone faced masonry walls — approximately 1,100 cu. yd. (841 cu m).
J.H. Maxymillian Inc. (JHM) — parent company of Maxymillian Technologies — has a long history of recycling construction materials to produce renewable products and minimize construction related waste.
“We fully endorse this ’green building’ concept of construction and incorporated it into this project,” said Simonelli. “Our approach was to establish the shortest possible hauls to staging areas and processing areas, and to maximize the reuse of construction products.
“We crushed existing waste blacktop, concrete, earth and rock excavation to generate contract specified construction products. We screened plantable soils and wood products with our grinders and chippers to be used on the project,” he added. “Although there was in excess of 20,000 cubic yards of rock excavation required, blasting was not permitted. Consequently, we removed rock with hydraulic hammers and a large rock trencher. We set up a portable bituminous concrete batch plant on site to reduce hauls and produce the necessary 70,000 tons of mix needed for the project. We substantially completed the project as of the end of October 2008, eight months ahead of schedule.”
Major Equipment Used
Among the pieces of equipment used on Mt. Greylock were:
• Portable bituminous concrete plant: ADM Milemaker 160.
• Rock trencher: Tesmec 1085 with 24-in. (61 cm) wide chain (100,000 lbs. [45,359 kg]).
• Hydraulic rock hammers: Caterpillar 345 BH with NPK Model GH-30 (15,000 ft.-lb. [4,572 m kg] hammer, Kobelco 115 BH with 750 RockBlaster hydraulic hammer.
• Crushers: Eagle 1200, Norberg LT 105, Kolberg/Pioneer 1047 J.
• Screen Plants: two EA Extec 6000S, Extec S-5, PowerGrid 800, Read Screen All.
• Grinders: Morbark Stump 4108, Brush Bandit 200 .
• Numerous other backhoes, loaders, pavers, rollers and graders.
Because of the scope and area of this project, JHM provided three project managers: Gary Polumbo, north face onsite manager; Dave Smith, south face onsite manager; and Tony Simonelli, office manager.
Mt. Greylock is the highest peak in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at 3,491 ft. (1,064 m). This state park today consists of approximately 12,500 acres (5,058 ha) and includes more than 70 mi. (113 km) of trails under the control of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
In 1885, local civic leaders organized the Greylock Park Association to purchase the first 400 acres at the Summit for recreational use. In 1898, the Summit and almost 800 acres surrounding it were given to the Commonwealth to become the first state park.
The Berkshire County Commissioners managed it until 1966, when it was transferred to the State Department of Natural Resources, the predecessor to the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), created by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression lived and worked on Greylock between 1933 and 1939 constructing buildings, improving the roadway system, trails and installing stone retaining walls.
The summit area was designated as a National Historic District by the U.S. Department of the Interior to honor and preserve the work of the CCC.
“Our current project was undertaken to restore the park, as closely as possible to the way it was built by the CCC,” said Simonelli.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), through Commissioner Stephen H. Burrington, announced on Nov. 1, 2006, that $21.3 million in state funding had been allocated by then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s administration through the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) for the Historic Parkway Rehabilitation at Mt. Greylock State Reservation in northern Berkshire County.
At the announcement, Burrington said, “This project is the largest single capital improvement project ever undertaken in the Massachusetts state park system. It is fitting that this work will be done to restore the historically significant parkway at Mt. Greylock, the Commonwealth’s highest peak, one of the Berkshire’s most popular tourist destinations, and state park system’s first acquisition, back in 1898.”
Due to seasonal constraints, construction required that Mt. Greylock roads were closed to the public for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Road closures during construction provided substantial financial savings and significantly sped up the time it took to complete the project.
While roads were closed, trails on the state reservation were kept open to walkers, hikers and mountain bikers.
JHM Corporate Capabilities
J.H. Maxymillian Inc. (JHM) is a fully integrated general construction company serving the private, federal and municipal sectors. As Western Massachusetts’s largest general contractor, JHM has the personnel and equipment necessary to complete projects of any size and complexity. Additionally, JHM is affiliated with Maxymillian Technologies Inc., to deliver comprehensive environmental management and support. Consequently, JHM employees on the Mt. Greylock Park Rehabilitation Project had training and experience, which proved beneficial in this environmentally sensitive project.
J.H. Maxymillian Inc. has more than 35 years of construction experience in the New England area and has successfully completed thousands of contracts without a single default.
JHM maintains a “no-fail” record and has never litigated a contract. Its client satisfaction is best demonstrated by the company’s high percentage of repeat clients.