Lambert’s Cove Road could be closed through end of year

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The town of Tisbury is closing Lambert's Cove Road with some heavy rain in the forecast. - Rich Saltzberg

Updated Dec. 16 @ 5:40 pm

The town of Tisbury now expects Lambert’s Cove Road to be closed through the end of the year, possibly longer, while a contractor makes repairs to a culvert on the road, Kirk Metell, the town’s director of public works, told selectmen Monday.

A portion of road between Smith Brook and Lower Maknonikey near the Tisbury–West Tisbury line remained closed on Monday. The town closed the road Friday, with heavy rain once again in the forecast. The closure comes after a previous heavy rain undermined the road by a culvert, and forced a closure and emergency repairs. 

“Lambert’s Cove Road will be closed at Smith Brook beginning at 4 pm today,” town administrator Jay Grande wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “The road will remain closed until further notice. With the heavy rain forecasted, this action is necessary. Additional road and drainage work will continue. The length of the closure will be updated by our Public Works Director Kirk Metell.”

During a visit to the site on Monday, the road was still closed. There were no workers at the site Monday at about 11 am, but a gas-powered pump droned at the edge of the road, pulling water from a swamp and sending it across the road to the brook on the far side. 

“Something is wrong with the drain under Lambert’s Cove Road,” Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF) chairman Eric Peters said. VOLF owns land in the vicinity of Smith Brook, including an adjacent cranberry bog. 

“We gave the town permission to go in and do what they are doing,” Peters said.

Grande praised Peters for giving the town emergency access. “They were super in terms of helping us move along,” he said.

Although Metell said he was “hoping and praying” a contractor he’s reached out to could make emergency repairs by the end of the week, that contractor can’t make it over to the Island until Tuesday. At that time, the contractor will assess the situation and give the town a price, Metell said.

The road remains closed now “out of an abundance of caution,” with concerns it “could still be compromised,” he said. How long it’s closed will depend on what they find when they dig it up, Metell said.

The town had already budgeted for the culvert repairs, Metell said. “We’re going to do the job that was planned and fix the culvert all at one time,” he said.

That project was budgeted for $60,000, Grande said. It’s unclear how much or exactly where the cost of the entire project will come from, he said.

Metell said since the asphalt plant is closed, the town will use leftover material from the airport to temporarily pave the road.

Police, fire, and the schools have all been notified about the road closure, Metell said.

Updated with new details. -Ed.