Street repair backs up Five Corners traffic

Work at the Five Corners intersection in Vineyard Haven stalled traffic throughout the day Tuesday. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Updated 2:15 pm, Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Construction crews working on a storm drainage system blocked one lane of the Five Corners intersection in Vineyard Haven Tuesday morning, and they are expected to continue work into Wednesday.

Motorists at times moved smoothly through the notorious intersection, aided by State Police directing traffic. At other times traffic backed up in August proportions, well beyond the R.M. Packer Company fuel storage tanks.

Local contractor White Lynch is doing the work for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). They are replacing a gutter inlet, that allows storm runoff to drain away from the street.

“We noticed the inlet had been failing – specifically it had started to collapse,” said Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the state agency. “MassDOT has a policy of not doing any work that requires lane restrictions on the Cape and Islands between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Exceptions include work that is emergency in nature. Because the failing gutter inlet could impact the sidewalk above, and because it would prevent water from properly draining, we made the determination that the work could not wait until after Labor Day.”