Frank discussion on Stop & Shop, please

Frank discussion on Stop & Shop, please

To the Editor:

The essay by Mr. Coogan, “The benefits of a new Stop & Shop,” published in the Times on the 19th of this month says that in recognition of rising water, “Stop & Shop is smartly utilizing the space beneath the building created to comply with the proposed floodplain elevation to provide 42 parking spaces beneath the structure.”

Referring to objections that have been made to the height of the proposed building, he concludes, “There is a reality here. All buildings in the Water Street location will, at some point in our future, be raised approximately eight feet so that they don’t wind up in the harbor.” He clearly does not mean a storey added to the top.

The area is filled land, formerly an alluvial plain with a tidal creek running through 5 Corners past Chicken Alley along what is now Lagoon Pond Road. Not to “wind up in the harbor,” a pertinent question is how best to stabilize what is at ground/water level. Hoisting all the buildings up on pilings is one kind of preparation for high water. Do we have other choices? Will traffic from the ferry drive to higher ground along a wharf like that in Oak Bluffs? Frank discussion, please.

Bruce Nevin



  1. Am I missing something here? What’s the point of this letter? Are you saying the ground isn’t stable because it’s fill? If that’s the case, Boston is mostly fill and those buildings are much bigger then the proposed S&S and they seem to be doing ok….

    1. Any activity performed at the elevation of Water Street will have to adjust because of the rise in sea level. That a community elsewhere has done nothing does not affect the Vineyard, except possibly storm damage may mean they receive a larger share of FEMA funds.

      Water Street may not end up submerged 24/7, perhaps it would flood only at very high tides or during storms. More than damaging roads, this would render a ground-level building unusable for business.

      Should the area be elevated or abandoned?