State to hold Vineyard Haven drainage hearing

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will hold a virtual hearing on a Vineyard Haven drainage proposal. — Rich Saltzberg

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a virtual hearing on proposed drainage improvements for the vicinity of Five Corners in Vineyard Haven — an area long plagued with flooding. The hearing is slated for Monday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 pm. 

As The Times reported in June, Tisbury’s select board approved the drainage proposal following a presentation by MassDOT project manager and acting stormwater program coordinator Hung Pham. 

“The proposed project consists of drainage and stormwater improvements along State Road, Beach Street, and a portion of Beach Street Extension in Tisbury,” a MassDOT notice states. The project limits extend approximately 1,200 feet (0.23 miles), beginning at the intersection of State Road and Causeway Road, and terminating within Beach Street Extension, just east of the Five Corners intersection. The work includes improvements to existing drainage infrastructure, installation of new catch basins and drain manholes, replacement of existing drainage pipes, relocations of existing utilities, and construction of a subsurface infiltration system beneath the municipal parking lot at 21 Beach St. Roadways within the project limits will require pavement milling and overlay, and the municipal parking lot at 21 Beach St. will require full-depth pavement construction and replacement of an existing retaining wall. A secure right-of-way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The town and MassDOT [are] responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT’s and the town’s policy concerning land acquisitions will be presented in the hearing.” 

To inquire about the project or to receive exhibits, emails can be sent to Carrie Lavallee at The hearing can be viewed at

“This hearing is accessible to people with disabilities. MassDOT provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request (e.g interpreters in American Sign Language and languages other than English, live captioning, videos, assistive listening devices, and alternate material formats), as available,” the notice states. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s chief diversity and civil rights officer by phone (857-368-8580), TD/TTY (857-266-0603), fax (857-368-0602), or by email (” Such requests should be made at least 10 days before the hearing, according to the notice.


  1. MANY years ago, I was on my bicycle at 5 corners which was flooded after heavy rain. Being young, I walked out to the beach where the drain pipe was – it was completely clogged with seaweed. I cleared out the seaweed, and by the time I got back to my bicycle, 5 corners was dry.

  2. There is a basic physical reality at play here.
    Five corners is not much higher than sea level. And it’s not going to get any higher.
    We just missed an opportunity to raise the road by at least a few inches.
    Do what you will, but the tide will rise.

  3. Maybe I don’t know anything about road improvements or state bureaucracy, but wouldn’t it have been more cost effective and efficient if drainage improvements had been part of the repaving, multi-use path that has been created in Vineyard Haven?

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