The future of the Cape’s canal vehicle bridges and connecting road network was on full display at a special joint meeting of the Cape Cod Commission and the Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Feb. 21 meeting was organized to update both planning groups on separate state and federal studies on the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.
The Army Corps’ study develops a recommended long-term plan for both bridges. The initial alternatives under review include a no action (contined maintenance), major rehabilitation, replacement as authorized with the current four-lane configuration and replacement with additional auxiliary lanes in both directions (four lanes plus two auxiliary lanes on each bridge).
Craig Martin, project manager for the study, emphasized that the study does not initiate construction, provide designs or guarantee funding for whatever action is recommended.
The Army Corps held a series of public meetings in December and is incorporating the comments received the analysis. A draft report is expected to be issued for public comment this summer, with a final report on recommended actions in the winter of 2019-2020.
At the state level, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently held a public meeting to take comment on draft recommendations for the Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study. Among the recommendations are multimodal improvements, including those to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities. Project Manager Ethan Britland provided Commission and CCMPO members with an overview of the project to date.
The study entails developing and analyzing a range of transportation alternatives in Bourne and Sandwich. These include highway, interchange, and non-highway improvements, as well as options and design elements that improve access and safety for all modes. Additionally, this study includes significant coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Commission’s transportation staff has provided information and technical support for both projects.
The meeting also featured an overview of the 2020 update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) from Commission Transportation Program Manager Steven Tupper. The RTP establishes long-range vision and goals, identifies major projects, studies, and programs for Cape Cod over the next 20-25 years.