The recently completed temporary Lagoon Pond drawbridge in Vineyard Haven that took six years to build and cost over $9 million is already suffering from some of the same problems that plagued the old drawbridge that was torn down last year.

Twice in the last two weeks, the temporary drawbridge — slated to be replaced with a permanent bridge in the coming years — became stuck in the up position. Then yesterday at noon the crash gate of the bridge became stuck for more than a half an hour, causing a traffic backup on both sides during the busy lunchtime hour.

Ed Panek, a representative for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, confirmed that the crash gate on the Oak Bluffs side of the bridge had been stuck, although he said it was quickly fixed and the bridge was reopened. Engineers and work crews were on the site yesterday afternoon to repair ongoing problems at the bridge that he described as routine.

“It’s nothing major, from my understanding. They are just working the bugs out,” Mr. Panek said.

Acting Tisbury police chief Daniel Hanavan said yesterday there were no major problems with traffic as a result of the bridge malfunction. Several witnesses said they were stuck waiting to cross the bridge for nearly an hour, but many motorists simply turned around and headed the other way.

Built by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, formerly known as MassHighway, the temporary drawbridge opened Jan. 1. The permanent bridge will be completed sometime in 2013 at a cost of some $35 million.

Funding will come entirely from the state.

Veteran bridge operator Bob Maciel said this week he performed a test of the drawbridge on April 5 to make sure the bascule leaf was working before the summer season started and the bridge needed to be lifted more frequently to accommodate boat traffic in and out of the Lagoon.

He said the bridge at first raised up with no problems, but then became stuck about two feet off the roadway. He said it was difficult to tell if the span was being blocked by some piece of equipment, or if the state-of-the-art computer system shut things down as a safety precaution because of a mechanical failure.

Mr. Maciel admits he is still getting used to the computer system.

“What I do know, is that when the thing got stuck a big siren sounded, lights started flashing and all the buttons on the panel started lighting up like crazy. State people told me what to expect if something went wrong; they said it would be loud, but it still caught me off guard,” he said.

Mr. Maciel said the bridge came crashing down a few minutes later, accompanied by a large explosion-like noise, although he still was not sure what happened. On that day the temperatures were warm, over 60 degrees, which he thought might have caused the metal to expand.

“That was always the problem with the old bridge. The metal would swell up when it got hot, and the state would have to come out and cut a piece off [the bastille arm],” he said.

He said an earlier test of the bridge in January went off without a hitch.

Mr. Maciel contacted state officials, who contacted representatives for Pihl Inc., the Lawrence construction firm that built the bridge. Workmen arrived to inspect the bridge and begin repairs.

Mr. Maciel received a request from Maciel Marine, where his son works, to lift the bridge on Friday, April 9, so two boats could exit Lagoon Pond. As a precaution, he performed another test on April 8, and once again the bridge became stuck.

“It made a big noise and it fetched up. I got on the phone and told them the thing was hung up, and they all backed away to get a better idea of what was wrong . . . then as I was standing there I could feel the bridge shift a little as it hit,” he said.

He lowered the bridge and it slammed down with a loud crash. Engineers and work crews then went to work, removing about three quarters of an inch from the movable span, similar to what had been done on the old bridge.

Mr. Maciel did another test later that day and the bridge worked fine.

On Wednesday morning this week, he lifted the bridge with no problems.

He said state officials were scheduled to visit yesterday to inspect the structure and make more repairs, if necessary.

Despite the problems, the longtime tender said the new bridge is a definite improvement.

“With this bridge you can make adjustments, you can prevent problems . . . the old bridge was hard work, you had to work a clutch and it was a real pain sometimes,” he said.

Meanwhile, a public hearing is set for Thursday, April 29, to hear public comment on the design for the permanent bridge. The hearing begins at 4:30 at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. A project handout will be available at