Lagoon Drawbridge design details due at committee meeting

Lagoon Drawbridge design details due at committee meeting

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A temporary drawbridge now spans the channel between Lagoon Pond and Vineyard Haven Harbor. — File photo by Tim Johnson

State engineers plan to present refined design details for the permanent Lagoon Pond drawbridge that will replace the temporary bridge at a meeting of the drawbridge committee on Thursday, January 26.

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Parsons Corporation, the design firm, will present plans to the committee and the public at a meeting scheduled for 10:30 am, at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission offices in Oak Bluffs.

The plans will include drawings of the proposed tender house, railings, lighting, and other details that define the appearance of the drawbridge.

“It’s the design details that most impact people,” MVC executive director Mark London said.

In 2003, the state’s transportation agency, then known as MassHighway, announced plans to replace the failing Lagoon Pond drawbridge, starting with the temporary bridge that opened in January of 2010, at a cost of $9.3 million.

Engineers revealed the original plans for the permanent drawbridge in 2008 public hearing. MassDOT hopes to open the permanent bridge in 2013, at a cost of $31.5 million, according to the drawbridge committee.

The Lagoon Pond drawbridge committee planned the project so that the roadway would not be closed for any long periods. They also wanted no interruption in boat access to Lagoon Pond, historically used as a harbor of refuge.

The previous 1930s era drawbridge was notorious for getting stuck in the up position, creating traffic chaos in the summer months, and sometimes getting stuck in the down position, trapping larger vessels in Lagoon Pond.