Hearing seeks to halt Squibnocket bridge construction

Not so fast. Judge agrees to hear a request for an injunction to halt construction of a bridge to Squibnocket. - Stacey Rupolo

Dukes County Superior Court judge Gary Nickerson set a hearing date for a preliminary  injunction that seeks to halt construction of a new bridge to Squibnocket Farms, according to court documents.

In a bit of a twist, it’s a new set of people who filed for the court order.

Earlier this month, construction crews began setting the stage for building the structure, which has been at the center of controversy in Chilmark for several years.

Two long-time opponents — Doug Liman and David Stork — had promised court action in a last ditch effort to stop it, but it was another group that filed the request for an injunction Friday. The plaintiffs include Paul Hornblower, Thomas Bena, Jake Davis, John Taylor, Cindy Doyle, Anthony Orphanos, Wendy Jeffers, Will Sawyer, Rosalie Hornblower, Zachary Lee, and Chris Fischer. Of that group of 10, Mr. Bena has been an outspoken critic of the project.

The injunction request was filed on the basis that the project violates Chapter 91, The Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act—the oldest law of it’s type in America— that, among other things, protects wetlands from environmentally harmful structures.

Peter Alpert, a Ropes and Gray attorney who represents Squibnocket Farms, has insisted in previous interviews that the DEP has already ruled on the structure and told The Times this week in an email “there’s no reason we can see for it to change its mind.”

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 2 pm.

Daniel Larkosh, attorney for the plaintiffs, could not be immediately reached for comment.