A reader called earlier this week to complain about the town’s inaction regarding the old bridge at Menauhant Beach. What to do about it has been a perennial question, but there have been nothing but short-term half fixes involving snow fencing or dumping sand around the old structure. Coincidently, we had driven by the beach over the weekend and wondered why nothing has been done about it.
There are two structures on the west end of the beach, one of them the old wooden bridge span on concrete and the other the remains of a concrete building foundation. They are not only an eyesore, but the bridge section takes up valuable beach space, not to mention posing a risk to safety.
They have been there since 1986, when the existing channel was built. Even then, there was discussion about who should be responsible. It wasn’t as much of a problem back then, when the beach was much wider. But it sure is now.
Our reader had called town hall and the only explanation he got was that the old bridge and concrete would be removed as part of the channel-widening project. He was not very satisfied with that. When, he wondered, would the widening project even start? Seems like the town is just kicking the can down the road, he said. He added that East Falmouth always seems to come up short with the town, and Menauhant Beach is one more example.
Town hall generally isn’t very expansive with explanations, so we gave the DPW director a call. Sure enough, Mr. McConarty had plenty to say, and it was a very good explanation.
The channel-widening project will begin in the fall of 2022. That, we are sure, will seem like a long way off for regulars at Menauhant Beach.
The town will save money by combining the projects, since the heavy equipment will already be at the beach for the widening project. Then, not only will the concrete and wood be removed, but the sand dredged from the new channel will be placed on the west end of the beach.
The channel will be widened from 40 to 100 feet, so Menauhant will lose 60 feet of beach. That’s a cost of improving the quality of Bournes Pond. But the bridge will also have a five-foot sidewalk, so beachgoers will be able to safely walk from one side to the other.
Two summers may seem like a long time to wait for ages-old improvements, but the plan makes sense.