Lagoon Pond bridge detour required Thursday night

The temporary Lagoon Pond drawbridge underwent close scrutiny by representatives from the manufacturer, contractor, and state Department of Transportation during a test in April 2010. — File photo by Steve Myrick

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will close the Lagoon Pond drawbridge from 9 pm Thursday, September 22, to 5 am Friday morning, September 23, in order to install an auxiliary drive motor.

Motorists who use the bridge to travel between Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs must take an alternate route.

On Wednesday, September 21, the Times received the following email update from MassDOT public affairs:

MassDOT started installation of the auxiliary drive on Monday. The auxiliary drive is the emergency backup system that operates the bridge in the event of a power outage to the main operating system.

We had alternating traffic on the bridge for a two-hour stretch on Monday. Now we’re going to be conducting tests starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. We expect the testing to be complete by 5 am on Friday, Sept. 23.

During those hours a detour will be posted with signs and message boards, but we also want to stress that if need be, emergency vehicles will be able to pass over the bridge at all times. In the event of an emergency, testing will be halted and will clear for the passage of first responder vehicles.

MassDOT recognizes this is a primary artery for traffic and we appreciate the neighbors’ patience as we complete the installation and testing.