Pavement hopefully on the way for Meeting House Way

Progress seems slow to residents, but highway superintendent insists the project is in motion.

A look at the current condition of the road on Meeting House Way missing the stakes marked by surveyors. — George Brennan

Several homeowners on Meeting House Way in Edgartown remain upset with the pace of the project to pave the road.

Voters approved the $775,000 project during a town meeting in 2015.

On Monday at the Edgartown board of selectmen’s meeting, highway superintendent Stuart Fuller had little progress to share since his last update for residents in June.

Mr. Fuller explained the speed of the project is not totally determined by the pace he moves. Completion of the project relies on several other parties, like the contractors.

“Our off-Island outfit that is usually here — they haven’t shown up yet,” Mr. Fuller said. “They are in the same situation as a lot of contractors in New England, they told me they’ve had 40 rainy days over a 10-week period.”

According to Mr. Fuller, feelings of frustration are shared by highway superintendents across the Island. Assuming plans continue without interruption, Mr. Fuller said he stands by his estimate the project will be ready to go come fall.

“This is just not acceptable,” resident Vanice Casey said. “The project has been going on for 2½ years — is the project going to be done in the fall, is it going to be done in the spring? He’s saying maybe.”

Previously selectmen admitted to miscommunication regarding the timeline of the project, which led to the scheduled update during the board of selectmen’s meeting this past Monday afternoon.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, and if there’s a breakdown somewhere in there, then it’s going to be later,” chairman Arthur Smadbeck said.

Mr. Fuller emphasized to the community members that the project remains a priority and has been put ahead of other projects, despite how it may seem.

The next steps will include surveyors reposting stakes in the road — the current travel lane meanders and wanders outside the legal layout of the road, Mr. Fuller said.

Ms. Casey says her frustration mostly lies in lack of communication about progress on the project, even though she’s requested updates.

“We’re scratching our way out of the rush of the summer,” Mr. Fuller said. “I understand the frustration; I’d like to get it done, too.”

In other business, Fourth of July went more smoothly for Edgartown than in recent years. Edgartown Fire Chief Peter Shemeth and Police Chief David Rossi said the handful of emergency situations were dealt with promptly and effectively.

Chief Rossi also expressed concern about how the passed marijuana law will impact the town. He said he plans to meet with the board of selectmen in the fall to take a closer look at options regarding regulations.