According to Tisbury town authorities, recent traffic bottlenecks on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven are expected to end on Friday once paving and other construction work is completed.
Lawrence-Lynch is the project’s contractor, which is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. — Mark Alan Lovewell
Since 2020, off-season construction on the $6 million Massachusetts Department of Transportation-funded project has been ongoing.
Final pavement striping is expected to be completed by Friday, according to Tisbury town administrator John (Jay) Grande. Mr. Grande added that minor work will continue into next week, with the project’s revised end date of June 24.
Mr. Grande also stated that road building would resume in the fall, possibly after Labor Day. New utility poles will be installed in the next phase of operations, allowing Verizon and Comcast to expand their services on the Island, he added.
This spring has been a test of patience for business owners along the construction route.
Chris Pantlanoe of Rocco’s Pizza in the Tisbury Marketplace said, “I beg for the rain these days.” “Because that means the construction won’t happen, and I’ll be able to keep my job.”
Mr. Pantlanoe has had virtually no lunch rush on days when the sun is shining and the tranquilly of the port is disrupted by a busy construction site and a long queue of stalled cars.
“I have a 45-minute wait simply to get around the road when they’re [paving the road], and when that happens, I have no business,” he said.
The narrative has been unfolding for months as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation works to improve road quality and add bike lanes to the major thoroughfare. Construction organisers have normally staggered traffic at numerous points on the route with the help of a state police officer directing traffic to reduce traffic congestion.
If one side of the road is being repaved, the road will be converted to a one-way roadway, with detours made up to form a circle with County Road and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
Weather factors have created delays — roads cannot be paved when it rains — as well as the decision by construction organisers to halt work on weekends in order to avoid adding to the traffic congestion caused by the influx of tourists.
The road renovation project started in 2020 and will be completed in the fall. Mark — Alan Lovewell is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom
“Given the current weather, I’m curious to see if they’ll be able to complete all of the work before [June 24th],” Mr. Grande remarked. “I’m sure they will, given that they have another week to accomplish it.”
Mike Holtham, general manager of the Net Result fish market, expressed gratitude for the road improvements. He credited upgraded sidewalks and a new crossing for the inflow of new clients, which he attributed to increased foot traffic from Vineyard Haven.
“We’re excited for the construction to be finished. It has had an impact on us, but the road looks wonderful, and the work was necessary,” Mr. Holtham remarked. “There were highs and lows, but it had to be done.”
The traffic patterns around the work, not the building itself, caused the congestion for Darby Patterson, an employee of Martha’s Closet and a part-time delivery driver for Morrice Florist.
“It depends on who is controlling traffic how construction impacts you,” she remarked. “It was typically how they managed traffic around it, not the construction process, that caused any inconvenience.”
While it was inconvenient at times, the extra traffic never posed a serious hindrance to flower deliveries.
“It didn’t have much of an influence on my path, except from making me grumpy at times.”
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