Work resumes on Beach Road


With summer at its end, construction operations on Beach Road have resumed, with an expected completion date in fall of 2022.

“MassDOT has resumed construction operations, which were suspended on Beach Road during the peak summer tourist season,” MassDOT spokesperson Judith Reaerdon Riley told The Times. “The work is scheduled to continue through the fall, and will include roadway and drainage structure reconstruction operations, sidewalk construction, roadway milling, and paving work.”

Several road improvements will be constructed and completed during the upcoming months, according to a project update from the town Friday. Improvements will include:

  • New roadway surface
  • Construction of ADA-compliant sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Traffic safety control signage and pavement markings 
  • New directional bicycle shoulder/lanes both sides of roadway
  • Reconstruction, replacement, and repair of drainage system
  • New subsurface drainage stub connection for the future elimination of the outfall pipe entering Lagoon Pond
  • Relocation of utility poles to back of sidewalks
  • Relocation or undergrounding of utility poles from Tisbury Market to Wind’s Up
  • Installation of shoreline protection mitigation measures
  • Installation of street planting plan
  • Installation of street lighting plan

Road work will be conducted Monday through Friday from 7 am to 3:30 pm. Drivers on Beach Road should expect delays and reduced speeds.

Work on the road will continue through the fall, stop for the winter, and resume again in the spring of 2022. Work is expected to be completed by fall of 2022.

According to Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande, pedestrian access on the harbor side of Beach Road is challenging due to the “physical constraints of the land and the resource area.”

Grande said the vision of architect Jamie Weisman will take additional planning, engineering, and permitting.

“My thoughts are that through the coastal resiliency study and master plan study, a feasible concept for a harbor walk/walkway can be pursued that provides pedestrian access on the harborside of Beach Road and further,” Grande wrote in response to an email to Tisbury resident Frank Brunelle questioning the lack of a sidewalk along that stretch.

The most recent plans are available on the town website or at the Vineyard Haven Public Library.


  1. Interestingly when I walked down Beach Road I came upon a trench being dug and a section of PVC conduit pipe. I inquired of the worker at the site and discovered it was to allow the communications wires to go underground. We discussed whether it would have been feasible to also send power underground in that trench he responded yes, like every other waterside road in America. I was surprised on both counts. In emails with Melinda Loberg who had a hand in designing this feature I asked what the purpose was. The response was that it was so that if the town ever decides to bury the wiring and remove the utility poles there will be a path ready for the change. As someone once said, “it just gets curious-er and curious-er.” I believe this was from Alice in Wonderland.

    • Trenches are expensive, conduit is cheap,
      Underground wiring is expensive.
      The life cycle of underground wiring is cheap.
      Give Tisbury credit for thinking ahead.
      Give Tisbury credit for trying to keep taxes and electric rates down.
      With the conduit in place the the electric can go under ground when it makes economic sense.

  2. Let’s put the power lines in the PVC now.

    That would be the quickest way to upgrade this thoroughfare.

    Putting the power lines underground was one of the most positive features of the project.

    What happened?

  3. Am I reading this correctly ?They are going to move some of the poles and bury some of the lines but not all of them. But they are putting the conduit in now in case they want to bury them at some time in the future.
    How does moving the poles now rather than burying them now make any kind of sense at all ?
    One can only speculate that “some time in the future” will be after we have a few hurricanes and people get fed up with losing power because of this asinine decision.
    I think Frank was being overly kind when he referenced Alice in Wonderland..
    More like “dumb and dumber”.
    Are these the same people who think putting tons of plastic on top of our sole source aquifer is a good idea ?
    I think if the officials keep coming up with these dumber than dumb plans, we should figure out if there is already something in the water.. Or vote them out of office.

  4. Don I think you are on to something.
    We need to spend what ever is necessary to hurricane proof the Island.
    We need better leadership.
    Not just braying from the cheap seats.

  5. Unfortunately, the town over two years did not support the requested funding articles for undergrounding at our Town Meetings.

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