Canal Area Study meetings expected late fall

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is conducting a study to identify transportation issue areas and needs in the towns of Bourne and Sandwich around the bridges. The study area includes the three bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal – the Bourne, Sagamore, and Railroad Bridges – and the surrounding transportation infrastructure.

Cape Cod Commission staff has activity participated on the Study Working Group, bringing a regional perspective to the discussion.

These crossings connect the 15 Cape towns and its residents to the rest of the Commonwealth and connect the two halves of Bourne. Congestion has always been an issue during the summer and shoulder seasons. However, traffic has become an issue during the off season when the 88-year-old bridges are under maintenance of the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the structures. Lane closures have led to hours-long backups to commuters and residents and these delays will increase as maintenance activities become more frequent. Lane closures are not only a hassle for travelers but impact emergency access and negatively impact the health of the region’s economy.

The Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study will look at transportation improvement alternatives within the Study Area ranging from large projects, such as replacing the Bourne Rotary, to smaller multi-modal projects, such as bicycle connections to the Cape Cod Canal Path.

In a parallel effort to the MassDOT study, the US Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of evaluating their maintenance approach for the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges through a Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report. The report will identify whether the US Army Corps of Engineers intends to continue to maintain the bridges as they have been the last few decades, undertake a major rehabilitation, or replace one or both of the bridges.

Public meetings for both efforts are expected in the late fall of 2018.

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