Lambert’s Cove Road remains closed

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A section of Lambert’s Cove Road in Tisbury will remain closed as the works to replace a culvert under a compromised section of the road continue.

The road was initially closed Dec. 10 after a severe rainstorm created a washaway. The situation worsened later in the month, forcing a permanent detour around the site at Smith Brook.

At a selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, Kirk Metell, the town’s director of public works, told the board that he’s hopeful a contractor can get over to the Island next week to start work on the culvert. Metell said there is a utility pole that may be in the way, so the DPW is exploring options that include either having the pole moved or going around it. There is a possibility that the pole won’t be an issue at all, but that won’t be known until the existing culvert is exposed, he said.

“We’ll know soon,” Metell said. “We’re still trying to find a salvageable piece of the old culvert to connect with the new culvert.”

Town administrator Jay Grande said he has expedited the procurement process to execute a contract for the project. He added that he’s keeping West Tisbury officials informed of the project’s status, and hopes to have a community meeting with residents of the street next week to “give them definitive construction schedule, scope of work, and when it will reopen.”

A pump that’s being used to keep up with the water flow is going to be shut off for the next couple of days because of temperatures below freezing, Metell said.

Selectman Jim Rogers said the town made the decision to close the road and fix it right the first time after the “sinkhole” was discovered. “We did that to protect the public,” he said.

Melinda Loberg, the board’s chair, agreed: “We’re working hard to cut through all the red tape so we can do it as fast as possible.”

Grande said the culvert project was already planned and budgeted for $180,000, but he expects the project to be well in excess of $200,000 because of the emergency situation.