Bids out for Oak Bluffs’ new roundabout

Construction is expected to begin in the fall.

Rendering of the upcoming rotary at the intersection of Circuit Avenue Extension and Seaview Avenue Extension -Courtesy Town of Oak Bluffs/ Waterfield Design Group

The Oak Bluffs Select Board approved the issuing of a request for proposals for the construction of the North Bluff/Seaview Avenue project, which will include a new roundabout. 

The project will feature a landscaped rotary at the intersection of Circuit Avenue Extension and Seaview Avenue Extension, along with a reconfiguration of the area’s parking format. 

The renovation aims to improve vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow, enhance public safety for area visitors, and facilitate better organization of nearby ferry passengers. 

The project is part of the town’s streetscape master plan, serving as a modification to the North Bluff Seawall project — the 720-foot-long corrugated steel seawall and boardwalk from Oak Bluffs Harbor to the public fishing pier — that was completed in 2016. 

Designed by Waterfield Design Group — the same company responsible for designing the Circuit Avenue, Healy Square, and Kennebec Avenue portions of the streetscape plan — the North Bluff project was approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in December. 

Per the town’s project description available to prospective bidders, the work will consist of “concrete sidewalks, bituminous concrete roadway paving, curbing, drainage, grading, site furnishings, lighting, and landscaping.”

Estimated cost for the most recent phase of the work is $1.25 million. 

The town will welcome bids for the work until 2 pm on April 5. Construction is expected to commence in the fall, after Indigenous People’s Day.

Also on Tuesday, to address the town’s proposed change to its alcohol policy, the select board formed a new working group consisting of stakeholders to discuss how to move forward with updating the policy. 

The group will be made up of select board members Gail Barmakian and Brian Packish, Oak Bluffs business owners J.B. Blau, Larkin Stallings, Mike Santoro, and Mark Wallace, two employees of the town’s Police Department, and possibly representatives from the Camp Meeting Association. 


  1. What an absolute waste of money. As if most residents can afford to pay for a 3 month use for tourists and tour operators.

    • These are the people that keep our tax rate incredibly low compared to the rest of the state. What’s the issue with spending a pittance to make our town even more attractive to those who pay our bills??

      • You know what they say, John– A pittance here, a pittance there, and pretty soon you have to raise taxes.
        I’m a tax and spend liberal, so I don’t mind. I would just rather they spent some “pittances” on maintaining the bike paths, and maintaining the high school football field with organic techniques and materials.
        But of course, like the Lagerman sculpture, not everyone will think the “rinky dinky roundabout” will be all that attractive.

        • The bike paths are being repaved this year – not sure how many miles. I agree on the football field but would also put out there why we need football at all. There’s plenty of sports teams at the high school that don’t require a playing field.

  2. Sad, wasteful and unnecessary. More suburban manicured landscaping and ugly painted pavement to replace what is perfectly fine and functional as is. Why doesn’t the town just start by emptying the overflowing trash can down there periodically so garbage doesn’t blow all over the place and into the water?

    • Functional is the last word I would use to describe that area. Every time a boat comes in, whether it’s the Island Queen in the summer or the Patriot in the winter, there is a logjam.

  3. Islanders generally drive much more cautiously and slowly than on mainland, but don’t seem to understand that you’re supposed to stop & yield at a roundabout if others are entering — at the current roundabout (Barnes Rd/Egdartown Rd/Wing Rd), few drivers yield, most just plow through.

    • I though the times would not post comments that “simply are not true”.

      And just so you know, a yield sign does not mean you stop. It means you should blend into traffic and only stop when absolutely necessary.

        • Eddie– If you see something that I post that is simply not true, and you can demonstrate that it is not true, please call me on it.
          I will be happy to be corrected and will apologize.
          I’m talking about facts— not opinions.

          • To Eddie—And Anna Edey
            In a comment on the March 2 article about DeSantis attempting to dismiss the lawsuit about his possibly unlawful actions flying the legal immigrants to M.V. Anna started that they were “picked up by several pre-arranged vans, and were taken to their first destination: St. Andrews Church.”
            I stated that I had never heard about the pre arranged vans, and doubted that claim.
            She sent me 2 national newspaper articles that indicated that she was correct.
            So, here I am, apologizing to Anna– Sorry Anna — and Thank you Anna for calling me on it.
            See how it’s done, Eddie ?

        • Ron– I will quote your link which does not state any “rules” for roundabouts other than incoming traffic should “yield” to traffic already in the roundabout.
          Note that no where in your link does it state that any vehicle should stop: quite the contrary;
          “Roundabouts are more efficient than stop-controlled intersections by keeping traffic moving”.
          “Roundabout vehicle queues waiting to enter the intersection generally keep moving and can be shorter than at traffic signals.”
          “Roundabouts reduce the need to come to a complete stop”
          Of course, sometimes there is a need to stop when yielding to traffic.
          But I think your perception that most drivers “just plow through” is a misunderstanding of how a roundabout should be navigated.
          I am not trying to criticize you–


  5. I still question how does a vehicle turn around in that thin parking area if all the spaces are full??? Back out???
    Also the corrugated metal sea wall put in in 06 is rusting big time why continue a failing system?

  6. It appears that cars parked on the bank will have to back into roundabout traffic. Seems a little, dangerous?

  7. From what I see there is no covered place to get out of the sun, rain etc… how can that be. Another example of wasted energy to come up with an incomplete plan.

    • Excellent…. yes, covered areas?? are they even considering that??? i pick people up there as i am a tour company and it is super congested and no one knows which way to go and its a cluster-you-know-what! Hopefully, this will help…. but i agree with Bob Murphy….. make sure there are some covered areas and places to sit…. it does rain here ya know….. 🙂

  8. How about using the funds to upgrade the wastewaster system in OB that has decreased the ability to add more housing supply to a town that badly needs it? The money used to fund this project that nobody asked for can be allocated much more efficiently.

  9. I love all the comments from these civil engineering “experts” who have had literally years to chime in on the project but now profess they know more than everyone involved in the process!

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