By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
Public Works Director Dave Hickey said this week that continued state work on Short Beach will likely impact travel in and out of Winthrop over Short Beach for a period of at least three months, once the work resumes.
The Short Beach project, which includes the rebuilding of the sea wall along the beach and road construction actually began last summer, and according to Hickey, based on feedback from residents and visitors to the town then, the state has made some changes to its approach to the remaining work.
“The work on the beach has been progressing,” said Hickey. “It’s a bit behind in some parts and a bit ahead of schedule in others, but the part that concerns me is that the work on the wall and roadway are the parts where the project is behind.”
Hickey said that based on the feedback DCR received about last summer’s construction, the project managers have ome up with a new approach to traffic flow to limit or reduce the frequency and length of traffic interruptions.
“They came up with a plan to accelerate construction by creating a wider work area on the ocean side of the roadway,” explained Hickey. “To accomplish that they are going to make a detour on the lower road, more permanent and have southbound traffic along the beach be put onto the lower road and northbound traffic only on the main parkway road during construction.”
Hickey pointed out that the timetable for these changes has not been announced yet, as the state has not decided when work on the roadway would resume, but he did estimate that the north/south detours would likely be in place for at least three or four months, while the wall and roadway construction are completed.
“The state has told us that they are willing to resurface the lower road, so that it can handle the additional traffic, but once the traffic is moved it looks like you’ll either be on one side of the wall or the other depending on which direction you are going in.”
Attempts to reach DCR personnel for comment about the plan were unsuccessful, but Hickey indicated that he feels the plan can be workable.
“I think it wil go fairly smoothly, I just want to see them give the residents enough advance notice so that they can be ready for the switch,” said Hickey. “In order to do that they have to pick a start date and let people know when it is.”