Road Work on Phinney’s Lane Affects Teachers, Students Drive to School

A map of the roads that are open and roads that are closed.

A map of the roads that are open and roads that are closed.

Evan Fishback, Staff Writer

On their commutes, students and staff alike have been met with hard hats and bright orange detour signs. This has affected wake up times, driving routes, and much more. 

The road closures on Phinney’s Lane and Strawberry Hill Road are part of a massive sewer installation that has been in progress since September of 2021. Most of the work has been taking place in the offseason to avoid the effects on tourism, which is logical, but affects BHS students and staff as they’re trying to get to school. 

While the Phinney’s Lane closure should be finished around the spring of 2023 according to the Communications Manager for the Department of Public Works, Kelly Collopy, it has certainly caused its fair share of problems for those who live on or near it. Senior Jordynn Johnson had to drive her cousins to school at the beginning of the year and they live off of Phinney’s. “It made the drive to get there longer,” said Johnson.

She isn’t the only one who has struggled with her morning commute though. English teacher Martha Swindler said that the road work has shifted her commute completely. “I have to wake up 10 minutes earlier than I used to,” Swindler said. She also mentioned the amount of traffic that it has produced since people are funneled into the only open roads now has gotten much worse. 

These closures have caused an increase in traffic congestion at the exit of school as well. “There are lots of people going home at the same time,” said Swindler. This agglomeration of cars has a much more limited route with Phinney’s Lane and Strawberry Hill Road being closed, causing major backups and adding unnecessary minutes to the ride home.

Senior Henry Nelson said he has taken up doing a mad dash to his car to try to beat the traffic. “On days that I don’t get out of school fast enough, I get home later than I’d like.” Nelson said. 

This work is part of the first phase of a 30 year sewer expansion project that the town is undertaking. It is working in conjunction with the Vineyard Wind Project reducing construction-related disruption to local roads and neighborhoods, and saving taxpayer dollars. The work will continue to progress to different areas as time moves on. For those who are interested in receiving updates or looking for a more in-depth analysis of the work being done, you can visit