Old Sandwich Road expected to get a new grade

A Department of Public Works crew was scheduled to return to Old Sandwich Road Friday to finish what was started five years ago.

That’s what Assistant DPW Director Dennis Westgate told the Roads Advisory Committee, and several residents of the historic road, at a Thursday night meeting.

Five years ago, under the direction of former DPW head George Crombie, a 450-foot long section of the gravel road was covered in what Westgate described as a “dense grade material.” That project was a test to see if there was a way to make it more manageable without having to actually pave it. That small stretch of the four mile road has held up well, Westgate said, but that’s as far as it went.

But Westgate is confident that things will change and the work can resume. The reason, he said, was a change in how towns can use their portion of state highway money. He explained that several towns in western Massachusetts challenged the prohibition on using state funds on gravel roads. They won their case and now Plymouth is trying to do the same thing. The initial response to the town’s request from state officials was good, Westgate said, but the town still needs to put in a formal petition. But Westgate said he was confident enough of success that he scheduled three trucks to lay down a base for the dense grade material.

The whole project could cost up to $700,000, Westgate said. He estimated he would spend about $100,000 of state funds annually on it. He estimated it would take three years to finish the job.

More to come

(disclosure: The offices of The Manomet Current abut Old Sandwich Road)

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