Traditional or modern: which bridge design will it be?
With the recent opening of the temporary Lagoon Pond drawbridge, called the Crooked Bridge by some, Islanders can now turn their attention to its permanent replacement.
The Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee wants Islanders to weigh in on two proposed designs for the permanent drawbridge, which include a traditional style, top, and a modern one.
Last week, MassHighway personnel and a design team from Parsons Corporation unveiled illustrations of the new permanent drawbridge, now at the 25 percent design and sketch phase, to the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee (LPDC).
"I just want to say first of all, to our guests from Boston, that we are thankful and appreciative that we have a new bridge that's reliable and workable," LPDC chairman Melinda Loberg said in opening the meeting at the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) offices.
For those who might harbor concerns about the temporary bridge's longevity, MassHighway project manager Steve McLaughlin cut right to the chase.
"Let me say this straight out: The temporary bridge is nice, it's working well, and we don't want to keep it there," he said. "So, I know you guys like it a lot, you want to keep it, but we want to replace it pretty soon. It is temporary."
Although the recent focus has been on the temporary drawbridge's construction, plans for the permanent bridge have been moving forward all along.
Parsons project manager Leslie Haines said the project reached an important milestone with the submission of a preliminary road plan in mid-December and bridge sketch plans in early January for state agency approvals.
"The next big stage is once the 25-percent highway plans get approved, we have the design public hearing, and then we go forward into final design and work out all the final details of the project," she said.
Based on comments from members of the LPDC and the public from past meetings, William H. Lockwood of Lockwood Architects proposed several bridge design concepts. Those were reduced to the two versions in illustrations accompanying this article, one modern and one traditional, presented at last week's meeting.
MassHighway landscape designer Andrew Schlenker also provided an illustration of the preliminary landscape design for the bridge area.
While the bridge and roadway are the same in both design versions, the difference is in materials used, types of railings, and the style of the bridge tender's hut.
"What we're hoping today is to come out with between these two options, one very traditional and one very modern, is an idea of what the committee wants to carry forward with the final design," Ms. Haines said.
The version the committee chooses will be "tweaked" for presentation at the public hearing, she added.
After getting the LPDC's feedback, Mr. McLaughlin said the goal is to schedule a public hearing to present the drawbridge design to a wider audience and accept comment for the record, probably at the beginning of March.