More Beach Road work, same curing agent 


Contractors for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) are set to restart work on the Beach Road project. Some of the pending work will involve the removal of old utility poles. These poles have been partially cut down, and mostly have had their lines transferred to new poles. 

“The utility companies still have some remaining service transfers to complete prior to all the poles being removed,” MassDOT spokesperson Kristen Pennucci emailed. “Once all lines have been transferred, the utility company that has ownership of the short poles will remove them from the sidewalk. After these poles are removed, MassDOT’s contractor will be able to complete the remaining portions of sidewalks.”

As The Times previously reported, MassDOT used a curing agent on freshly poured sidewalks along Beach Road that contained a substance potentially harmful to aquatic life. 

“Prior to beginning the sidewalk work,” Pennucci wrote, “MassDOT’s contractor reached out to the town and their concrete supplier to determine what product had been used on previous projects in the town. The product used [by] MassDOT’s contractor was the same product the town had reported using on a recent project.”

After The Times pointed out to MassDOT the curing agent might be a pollutant, MassDOT nonetheless used the curing agent again when sidewalks on the opposite side of the road were poured. 

At the time, a MassDOT spokesperson said the curing agent adhered to specifications requested by Tisbury. 

On Tuesday, MassDOT spokesperson Judith Reardon Riley confirmed the state’s contractor

“will use the same curing compound product that has been used throughout the project.”

Tisbury’s DPW opted to use a different curing agent for sidewalk work near the Steamship Authority terminal. This work was not part of the Beach Road project. DPW director Kirk Metell called the curing process used near the terminal a “whole different technique” that employed a “sugar-based” product that was “bio-friendly.”

Metell told The Times Wednesday that he would see if MassDOT would consider using the alternate technique and product. 

When asked about cracks and spalling that seem to have appeared in some areas of newly made sidewalks, Pennucci wrote, “MassDOT will investigate the sidewalk damage as part of a project final inspection, and any needed repairs will be done as part of the project punch list.” 

In addition to removal of the utility poles, “completion of sidewalks, installation of landscaping and signage, and completion of incidental punch list items” are also slated.