For the first time in nearly a decade, beachgoers and sportsmen will soon be able to reach the state-owned Callie’s Beach and the Sedge Lot Pond area in Mashpee without needing a heavy duty vehicle or “monster truck” to get there.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the South Cape Beach State Park Advisory Committee, John J. Singleton, facilities supervisor for the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which oversees the park, announced that work on temporary repairs to Will’s Work Road will begin next week.
The long and winding dirt road with deep potholes that leads to Callie’s Beach and Sedge Lot Pond has been nearly impassable for regular-sized cars, presenting a significant public access obstacle to a state-owned recreation area.
The condition of the road has also become a major safety concern, as fire and police vehicles would not be able to respond to an emergency in the Callie’s Beach area, and any rescue in the area would likely have to come via watercraft.
According to Mr. Singleton, 17 truckloads of gravel will be used to grade the road. However, before the gravel is deposited into the deep ruts, the time-intensive task of pumping water out of the potholes needs to be completed, and that work will start next week.
The entire project, which is being paid for by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, is expected to be completed by June 30.
Mashpee Department of Public Works Director Catherine E. Laurent confirmed earlier this week that a meeting is in the works with representatives from WBNERR to discuss plans for permanent repairs to the road.
Last summer, State Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth) toured the area, and said that he would be requesting assistance from the National Guard for personnel and heavy equipment to temporarily repair Will’s Work Road. That plan failed to materialize, as the National Guard was unable to help in the effort.
When asked if easier access to the area, which is isolated from the state park and the Mashpee Town Beach and the staff that monitor activities at the beaches, could lead to a free-for-all party atmosphere there this summer, Mr. Singleton made it clear that bad behavior would not be tolerated.
“We go down there, especially on weekends, to enforce rules and regulations, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the beach in a safe and responsible manner,” Mr. Singleton said.
While the fee for parking at South Cape Beach is $7 per day during the summer, Mr. Singleton said there are no immediate plans to institute a fee to use Will’s Work Road.
“It is public land, and anyone can go down there. It’s a hidden gem with no fee charges.” he said.
In other South Cape Beach State Park news, Mr. Singleton reported that despite the harsh winter, the beach did not suffer any major erosion, and there was no vandalism.
“We’re ready to go for the summer,” he said.