Army Corps Considers Delay of Bourne Bridge Repairs

BOURNE – A push by local chambers of commerce, businesses and legislators is underway to move planned fall repairs to the Bourne Bridge to next spring.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers scheduled 80 days of repairs to the span after Labor Day which would cause permanent lane closures similar to those over the Sagamore Bridge earlier this spring.

The Sagamore Bridge work caused daily traffic delays and loss of revenue for many Upper Cape businesses.

Canal Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marie Oliva says if the work can be postponed it should be.

“All that means is that we are not going to have it twice in one year – spring and the fall,” Oliva said.

“That’s really going to hurt the economy. It’s going to hurt businesses. It hurts residents and would really not be good for the area.”

Oliva said the Army Corps needs to understand the economic impact that another possible 80 days of lane closures would have on the region.

“We are not saying that you don’t have public safety issues and that you don’t have to fix the bridges,” Oliva said. “[It should be] postponed so you don’t have a double whammy in one year.”

Oliva said the Army Corps is looking into the request for delaying the work, but that a final decision has not been made.

The Sagamore Bridge work was finished 3 weeks ahead of schedule in early May after an original schedule of 55 days.

Travel lanes over the span were reduced to one lane in each direction as crews worked to replace damaged roadway joints, improve sidewalks and waterproof.

“Even though they stopped the work before they were expected to there was still a considerable amount of delays,” she said.

Both projects were announced during a public meeting in early March at the Hyannis Transportation Center just weeks before the Sagamore work was expected to begin.

“Quite frankly, we all got caught flatfooted when the Corps mentioned this at a hearing that we had with the RTA because none of us were aware of that,” Oliva said.

Oliva wants the Army Corps to keep the doors of communication regarding the work open.

“If there is a decision to be made [about] the fall let us know now so people can plan now for the events that they are going to have,” she said. “People plan way ahead.”

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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