Chilmark settles on Middle Line road plan


Chilmark selectmen approved new road specifications for the Middle Line Road affordable housing project Tuesday. They discussed recent water problems at the West Dock and Coast Guard Station, and agreed to install new recycling bins in Menemsha.

The meeting began with a status update on Middle Line Road from the Architectural Consulting Group of New Bedford. The report from project manager Michael Josefek, dated July 12, said progress at the site is continuing “at a good pace keeping much to the original contract schedule.”

The project includes three duplex rental units and six single-family houses built on one-acre lots located on 21-acres of heavily wooded town-owned land, about a half-mile down Middle Line Road, near the town landfill.

Mr. Josefek said in his report that giving the contractor an additional month to achieve substantial completion from July 31 to August 31 will allow the contractor to completely finish the project by Sept. 30, including the punch list and turnover of the project.

Selectmen also reviewed road specifications for the Middle Line Road project. The scope of work calls for a new 16-foot wide entrance to Middle Line Road from Tabor House Road that intersects with the original 11-foot wide Middle Line Road.

Molly’s Lane, as it would be called, would be built out to 10 feet and turn off Middle Line Road and enter the housing development, and several new roads would be built leading to the new buildings. The plan calls for the shoulder of the new roads to be seeded for grass.

The final roadway specifications call for about 1,400 to 1,500 tons of gravel hardener to be used for the final roadway surfaces, approximately six inches deep before compactions. The project will be advertised next week, and work is expected to be completed by October 3.

Selectmen were pleased with the bid specifications. “I think it will be a terrific road,” chairman Frank Fenner said.

Selectmen also had an update on the new dock at Hariph’s Creek. Harbormaster Dennis Johnson said primary work was completed this week, the crane has been removed, and the old dock has been placed on a barge and hauled away.

He said one of the bolts that anchor the gangway to the cement block along the parking area didn’t take hold. Workers plan to return this week to complete the job and remove debris from the work site, Mr. Jason said.

Mr. Jason said the town is using the Coast Guard water line to supply water to the West Dock, but the water line is not large enough and does not provide the water pressure needed to service all the boats.

Mr. Jason said the town has its own water line to the dock, but has reduced pressure because of leaky connections and a broken nozzle head. He said the overuse of the water line has created problems inside the Coast Guard Station.

Mr. Jason said he plans to open the valve a little more on the town water line to try and get a little more water pressure out to West Dock.

Following the meeting, executive secretary Tim Carroll said the harbor is serviced by a gravity-fed, three-quarter inch water line connected to a well on top of Menemsha Hill. He said the water system is not ideal, but overall does provide the water needed to service the harbor.

“We did about six things to make it better, and I think we have managed to balance things. But if someone is trying to wash their boat at the end of the line, or trying to fill a 300-gallon tank, the pressure is going to suffer,” he said.