Beach Road ramp may stay another month


The hose ramp across Beach Road on the very edge of Five Corners could be in place another month, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The agency also said despite problems with bolts, the ramp is “intact” so far.

“MassDOT has contacted the permit holder working at this location regarding this issue,” MassDOT spokesperson Judith Reardon Riley emailed. “Their engineer has confirmed that the anchorage system remains intact at this time, and the ramps are not moving. The site will continue to be monitored. The ongoing construction operations at this location are anticipated to continue through the next four weeks, and a police detail will be on site 24/7.” 

The ramp inflicted another casualty Tuesday afternoon when a motorist’s muffler and exhaust pipe were ripped off crossing it. Tisbury Police responded to the scene. 

Adam Guaraldi, a geologist who’s managing the project, declined to offer specifics about the length of time the ramp would be in use, except to say the town had set a deadline for its removal.

Select board chair Jim Rogers said at a past select board meeting he had made it clear the ramp could not be in place past the Wednesday before Memorial Day. “I wish they were done tomorrow,” he told The Times.

Rogers also said he believes MassDOT has asked Drake Petroleum Co.’s contractor to accelerate its work. MassDOT didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation on the subject. Rogers said the town allowed the contractor to add a third hose to the harbor. He said he believed the request was made to expedite the work. Permission was given Tuesday morning, he said. Tuesday afternoon, only two hose ends were spilling water into the harbor. The third was dry. 

On Wednesday, Catie Kerns of Global Partners, which owns Drake Petroleum, wrote that the company has processed claims for vehicles damaged by the first ramp that was installed, which caused some vehicles to scrape. “Since learning that this was an issue, the contractor has since modified the ramp, and we have not received any additional complaints,” she wrote.

Kerns wrote that a pothole at the scene existed prior to the work, and “appeared to have been patched many times.” She added that a truck that left the road and damaged a hose did not appear to contribute to the pothole. “We will certainly work with the town following project completion to fill the hole to satisfactory condition,” she wrote.

As for when the project will be done, she wrote, “We hope to have the project completed by the end of spring.”


  1. Tires flattened, mufflers ripped off, diesel tanks punctured.
    Is there such a lack of creativity in the brains of the people who are in charge of this fiasco that they can’t come up with a better option than this obviously inadequate clustermuck ?
    My guess is that when someone punctures a GAS tank and the car explodes killing a family of four, someone will come up with a better idea.
    Do we really need that to happen ?
    There is potential here for a serious tragedy.
    If the gas station can’t deal with whatever it’s problems are, perhaps this is not a place for a gas station.
    The island bureaucrats can’t figure out where to put a marijuana dispensary, but they allow this fiasco to happen, and the end result will be large tanks filled with petro products sitting in ground water–at the busiest intersection on the island. What could go wrong ?
    Sounds like a dumb idea to me.
    And exactly why did we not allow a gas station across from state road Black Dog some years ago ?
    Too convenient maybe ? You could actually get gas without going through 5 corners..
    Too environmentally “safe” maybe ? A leak wouldn’t go directly into the ground water.

  2. Hope they put in a raised side walk there after there work is done. Really like how it has calmed traffic, has made drivers aware and more civility.

    • An excellent traffic-calming and speed-reducing idea for this whole stretch of roadway as far as Wind’s Up, IMHO.

      Just for cars, not bikes.

  3. Dana has an excellent point. Making 5 corners traffic more aware is a good thing. This might not be the most prudent way to do it. There were other fuel facilities in and around 5 corners. I bet Chris Baer has some of the history and when things changed. I found myself thinking if your fuel station has tanks that are below sea level, then that is not a good place for a fuel station. I know it is already there, but won’t the situation only get worse?

  4. I too appreciate how the slowdown caused by the ramp has made going through Five Corners a little less difficult and hectic and people are actually taking turns.


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