Bridges - big, little, and draw - on schedule
Lagoon Pond bridge to be done in 2013
Construction workers are set to begin building concrete platforms for the temporary Lagoon Pond drawbridge, an important step toward keeping the project on schedule.
Further along Beach Road, between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, contractors are completing preliminary work on the two bridges known popularly as Big Bridge and Little Bridge. More work to replace the bridges over Sengekontacket Pond inlets is scheduled for next winter.
Photos by Steve Myrick
The drawbridge project was delayed in January when permits expired before work on the steel and wooden piles could be completed. Parsons Transportation Group, the company building the new bridge, had to apply to the state Department of Environmental Protection for an extension.
"If they hadn't been able to do that, they wouldn't have been able to complete the project on time," said Melinda Loberg, chairman of the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee. "They will be on schedule for completing the bridge by late fall, but I would not be at all surprised to see it go to 2010."
Once the temporary bridge is built, the existing bridge will be demolished, and a permanent bridge built in its place. Parsons was chosen as the overall contractor in charge of design and most of the planning for the permanent bridge.
The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2013. The cost of the temporary bridge is estimated at $9.3 million and the permanent bridge at $35.7 million.
Big and little
Work is also on schedule for Big Bridge and Little Bridge, according to Donald Voghel, CEO of MIG Corporation. He says his company is winding up work for this winter, after successfully driving test pilings earlier this month, to determine how long the permanent pilings need to be. Mr. Voghel said construction crews will complete the work scheduled for this year by March 15.
The work is being done in three stages, to avoid traffic delays during the tourist season. Drivers have experienced occasional short delays this winter when work requires one lane of the bridge to be temporarily blocked.
The work crews will return to Martha's Vineyard next fall and construct one lane of each bridge, then return again the following fall to complete the other lanes. The project is due to be finished in the spring of 2011.
Big bridge will be replaced with a four-span pre-cast concrete structure with wooden sidewalks and railings on both sides, along with timber fishing platforms on both sides.
Little Bridge will be replaced with a single span concrete structure with wooden sidewalks and railings. Both bridges will accommodate bicycles and disabled access on the pond side of the bridges.
The cost of the replacing the two bridges is $14 million.