The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has begun working on potential solutions for Five Corners, the traffic-plagued, flood-prone intersection in Vineyard Haven.

During an online public presentation Dec. 6, state planners said they will spend the winter developing three alternative design concepts for Five Corners. They plan to unveil their three design concepts in the early months of 2024 and have a spring target for a final report and recommendations.

“That’s what everybody’s anxious to see,” said Melinda Loberg, a former Tisbury select board member who serves on the town’s climate committee.

Ms. Loberg attended the state presentation along with about two dozen other town officials and Island residents, including Tisbury finance and advisory committee member Rachel Orr and former select board member Tristan Israel.

Speaking with the Gazette, all three said they are encouraged to see the state tackling Five Corners after completing the Beach Road reconstruction project last year.

“They are now plunging right back in to address some of the issues that were not solved in that project, which did not include Five Corners,” Ms. Loberg said.

Ms. Orr and Mr. Israel expressed cautious optimism and curiosity as to what the department of transportation will come up with over the next few months.

“They’ve acknowledged the challenges they face, and that they’re part of it,” Ms. Orr said.

She also was intrigued to hear that a roundabout might be among the three designs.

“It sounded like that could be interesting, especially if they could have one of those stormwater containment systems built in [so] the center of the roundabout could serve as containment,” Ms. Orr said.

“Right now, the road is containment,” she added, with the weary laugh that often accompanies Island conversations about the vexing, practically unavoidable intersection.

The five-way convergence of Beach Road, Water street and Lagoon Pond Road, a half-block from two major traffic magnets — the Steamship Authority’s vehicle staging area and the Stop & Shop supermarket — has challenged motorists for generations.

“Five Corners depends on people’s politeness [and] whatever mood you’re in when you go through it,” Mr. Israel said.

The intersection also sits at the town’s lowest elevation, drawing stormwater runoff from throughout the surrounding area that regularly overwhelms the roadway and its limited drainage system, an outfall pipe to Vineyard Haven Harbor that’s often clogged with sand.

“It’s like trying to take a bucket of water and pour it into a small soda bottle,” Mr. Israel said.

Ms. Loberg said it was evident from the presentation that state planners had done their homework on Five Corners, reading multiple town studies and reports and taking sea levels and stormwater into account as well as traffic.

But she voiced concern that the state transportation department, which focuses on Massachusetts-owned roadways like Beach Road, might not completely grasp the complex mosaic of drainage conditions along nearby streets.

“This is such a complicated area that you kind of can’t have one look at the solutions from one point of view,” she said.

“Elevation and zoning and so forth are also at play here, and also the master plan is getting to the point of recommending certain zoning changes that are going to change the whole Beach Road corridor, taking into consideration climate change and sea level rise,” Ms. Loberg said.

Mr. Israel also predicted a very different Beach Road in years to come.

“This area of town is going to be flooded more and more frequently,” he said. “The waterfront will need to be raised.”

The condition of Beach Road and Five Corners affects nearly everyone on Martha’s Vineyard, not just residents of Tisbury, Mr. Israel added.

“It is a regional problem, and I hope that we approach it not just Tisbury-centric but from a regional perspective,” he said.