Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) contractors again used a curing agent on new Beach Road sidewalks that may pose a hazard to the marine environment.
As the Times previously reported, a safety data sheet for the product states it shouldn’t be allowed to reach sewerage systems or “any water course,” and if it does, “respective authorities” should be informed.
The bluish product was sprayed onto new sidewalks last fall, and then power washed off to create a pebbly texture to sidewalk surface, in accord with specs the town wanted. MassDOT previously said it used absorbent pads and silt sacks to keep the substance out of the town’s drainage system.
“The residual cement paste and sand was cleaned by hand shoveling and mechanically sweeping the roadway gutter upon completion for the power washing,” MassDOT spokesperson Judith Reardon Riley wrote at the time.
Reardon Riley confirmed the same product is being used presently as contractors pour sidewalks on the Lagoon Pond side of Beach Road.
“MassDOT is cognizant of the potential environmental impacts of this product,” Reardon Riley wrote this week. “This method of sidewalk was requested by the town of Tisbury to meet local specifications. We are confident that adherence to construction best practices, proven experience with containment operations, and onsite inspection and oversight continue to support the safe application of the product at this location.”
On April 6, a MassDOT contractor could be seen power washing away the curing agent and a veneer of concrete in the rain. A nearby storm drain appeared clogged, and was swallowed up by a puddle. No effort to clean up the water or control where it flowed or splashed was evident.