Lambert's Cove Road to close for repairs
Lambert's Cove Road, between the EC Cottle lumber yard and the Lambert's Cove Beach parking lot will be closed to all traffic - motorized, pedaled, or pedestrian - for two weeks beginning November 2, to allow for repair of the road, according to the West Tisbury superintendent of streets Richard Olsen.
The work will include repair of the retaining walls at the bridge over Blackwater Brook, just east of the beach parking lot.
Mr. Olsen presented preliminary plans for the road closing and repair project to the West Tisbury selectmen during their October 7 meeting. According to Mr. Olsen, the low bid on the repair project is $21,185 (the town has appropriated $30,000), and Edgartown-based contractor David Knauf was awarded that contract.
There will be additional expenses for the police traffic detail and barricades including chain link fencing and barrels. Mr. Olsen told the selectmen that he has had preliminary discussions with police Chief Toomey regarding the needed police detail.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Olsen explained that he has been monitoring the road for the past five years. "In the last year or so, I noticed that something was happening," he said. "The retaining walls have been compromised. They are being pushed outward creating dips in the road." The structure of the bridge itself is fine, Mr. Olsen added.
The repair plans call for excavating the culvert down about 1.5 to 2 feet below the road surface. "We are going to put in a new material (a dense mixture of elements) and then 18 inches of concrete above that, "Mr. Olsen explained. New steel rods will also be added to reinforce the retaining walls. Approximately 100 feet of Lambert's Cove Road will be closed to traffic with the repair work area measuring 48 feet long and 18 feet wide.
The all-stone culvert, perhaps dating to the 1800s, became compromised, according to Mr. Olsen, due to a "combination of age and the heavier trucks on that road. When it was built there were probably only wagons using that road."
Mr. Olsen told the MV Times that the schools have been notified of the road closing and the need to reroute buses. The Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) will also be notified and newspaper advertising is planned.
Selectman Skipper Manter said that he cannot recall such a lengthy road closing. "There will be some people who are not pleased," he said. Both Mr. Manter and selectman Richard Knabel asked that people be told as quickly as possible about the scheduled road work.
Mr. Manter suggested using "professional" highway signs up at the site. Mr. Olsen said that there will be signs at both ends of the road.