Down to details for Lagoon Pond drawbridge

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

In a session much like a family picking carpet colors and paint finishes for a new home, members of the Lagoon Pond drawbridge committee and interested observers discussed the details of the permanent drawbridge that will replace the current steel structure at a January 26 meeting with bridge architects.

“Today’s purpose is what we’ve been waiting for for several years, the part of the bridge everybody is going to see, all the aesthetics of the bridge,” Melinda Loberg, chairman of the drawbridge committee, said as she opened the session at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission office.

Architects from Parsons Corporation, the design firm, presented paint color strips, and displayed several examples of lights, railings, metal finishes, and concrete designs.

The architects also presented drawings of the tender’s house, where the bridge tender will work to control the drawbridge, and one of the most visible elements of the design.

The drawings detail a small square building atop a stone tower. As designed, the tender’s house has a hip roof with red cedar shingles, and siding of white cedar shingles.

Vineyard Haven harbormaster Jay Wilbur noted that the temporary drawbridge tender’s house has limited visibility, and operators must rely on video cameras to see boats passing through.

“I’m hoping that won’t be the case,” Mr. Wilbur said of the new design.

Architect Bill Lockwood said his design includes better sight lines. “Virtually the entire perimeter is windows,” Mr. Lockwood said.

The committee also discussed whether the bridge should include an interpretive plaque or a work of art that might explain the historical and cultural significance of the structure.

The drawbridge committee planned to meet over the next several weeks to pick the design elements.

“We’ve got some decisions to make,” Ms. Loberg said.

Mechanical, engineering, and landscaping elements of the design went through a long public hearing process.

While no more public hearings are scheduled, the committee discussed holding an informational session with the public to introduce the design, once final decisions are made.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation project manager Mike McLaughlin said the design should be complete by the end of February, and the project put out to bid prior to September 30, 2012.