Lagoon Pond drawbridge funding approved, permits ready

The temporary drawbridge will be replaced. — File photo by Nelson Sigelman

The money, design, and permits are in place for the permanent Lagoon Pond drawbridge that will replace the temporary bridge built in 2010, bridge committee chairman Melinda Loberg of Tisbury said.

“I don’t expect anything to happen, except for the staging of equipment, until the fall,” Ms. Loberg told The Times in a phone conversation Wednesday. “One of first things they will do is work in the water.”

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is issuing request for proposals this week for the construction contract. Ms. Loberg said it would be several months before the project starts once a contract is awarded and pre-construction negotiations are concluded.

The drawbridge project involves the replacement of the current temporary steel bascule bridge with a new, seven-span bascule bridge. The work includes removal of the existing temporary bridge, installation of a multi-use walkway, installation of two navigation piles, approach work and the installation of bridge piers, retaining walls, and a seawall.

MassDOT announced plans in 2003 to replace the failing Lagoon Pond drawbridge in two phases starting with the temporary bridge that opened in January 2010 built at a cost of $9.3 million.

Engineers described plans for the permanent drawbridge at a 2008 public hearing. MassDOT had hoped to complete the bridge in 2013, at an estimated cost of between $31 and $35 million.

The project was delayed by a lengthy review process. Ms. Loberg said members of the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee, which includes representatives from Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, plan to meet with MassDOT bridge project manager Steve McLaughlin in early April to review the 100 percent project design plan and construction timeline, and that they will keep the public informed.