The new Dike Bridge is complete and now open for pedestrian traffic. Gates are being installed today and in a week, the bridge will be open to limited off-road vehicle use.
“They’ve done a great job,” said Edgartown highway superintendent Laurence A. Mercier. “The contractor G. M. Berkley did excellent work. We had a state inspector down on Wednesday and he said there are no problems. The bridge will be open soon.” The bridge was built at a cost of $182,256 and paid for by the state. It passes over Poucha Pond.
For those who want to walk to the water it is a two- to five-minute walk to East Beach, and pedestrian access is 24 hours a day. The Trustees of Reservations have installed a roll-up boardwalk and a gatehouse which will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a pay telephone and a portable toilet.
When the gate is installed in a week, the bridge will be open to over-land vehicles that have Trustees of Reservations stickers. Beach access stickers are available at all the Island tackle shops and are sold by the rangers.
Trustees of Reservations Islands regional supervisor Chris Kennedy said the hours will be limited this summer so they can get a handle on the use of the bridge. It will be open for vehicles from sunrise to 9 a.m. and then again from 4 to 7 p.m. “We want to see how large the vehicle use is to Cape Pogue and we’ve agreed to sit down with the town at the end of the season to go over the statistics. We will review the hours for next year. We want to go slowly. We don’t want to just throw the door open,” he said.
Keys to the gate are available to police, firemen and rangers for public safety purposes only, he said.
Fortunately for those who like to have access to The Trustees of Reservations beach, with the opening of Dike Bridge there are two ways to get to the beach. Mr. Kennedy said that access through Wasque is open 24 hours a day for pedestrian and vehicle use. “So far we have no signs that any birds, any plovers or terns will try to nest on either the Wasque Beach or most of Leland Beach. The beaches will probably remain open for the remainder of the summer.”