Army Corps to Kickoff Bridge Study Meetings Wednesday in Bourne

BOURNE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District will kick off a series of public meetings Wednesday in Bourne on its Cape Cod Canal draft bridge study.

The Army Corps’ Draft Major Rehabilitation Evaluation report recommends the replacement of both the aging Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.

The plan will call for building two new bridges with four travel lanes each and 2 additional auxiliary lanes for acceleration and deceleration. Both new bridges would also include appropriate bike and pedestrian access.

The Draft Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report (MRER) and Draft Environmental Assessment are available for review on the website at https://www.CapeCodCanalBridgesStudy.com under the “Documents” tab.

The series of five meetings to gather public comment on the plan will be held this week and next week on Cape Cod, the South Shore and in Boston.

Army Corps of Engineers Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management Scott Acone said the Corps is seeking opinions and concerns from residents.

“We’ll take all those comments and we’ll incorporate them into our final report and we will send that to our headquarters for approval and we hope to have a final decision in February of 2020,” Acone said.

The first meeting is Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Bourne High School.

The remaining Army Corps public meetings are scheduled for:

– Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., Plymouth South High School Performing Arts Center, 490 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, Mass.
– Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building auditorium, 10 Causeway Street, Boston, Mass. Registration and open house at 1 p.m. Meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. 
– Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., Nauset Regional High School auditorium, 100 Cable Road, Eastham, Mass.                                               
– Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street, Hyannis, Mass.

“It’s really important for us to get that public feedback and public comment,” Acone said. “That’s really the number one goal.”

The Corps will accept public comments on the recommendations in the draft bridge study through Nov. 1, 2019.

The study, which began in 2016, examined the engineering, economics, environmental impacts and cost estimates for rehabilitation versus replacement.

“We made the determination that it was in the best interest of the federal government to replace the bridges versus rehabilitate,” Acone said.

The bridges were originally designed and built in the 1930s. They were designed to standards of that time which included smaller vehicles, less traffic and narrow lanes.

“When you look at the demands on the bridges today there is a lot of traffic, cars are bigger, lanes are generally wider and there are just different needs for the bridges,” Acone said.

Acone said the ramifications of continued rehabilitation and maintenance construction on the two spans.

“Every time we do work on the bridges we are looking at lane restrictions and lane closures and the traffic delays that result from that have a real economic impact on the Cape and the surrounding communities,” he said.

If the plan is approved by the Army Corps would then begin the civil works budgeting process, including the request of design funds.

“As we move in to the design process, it is really when we would start to put together the detailed timeline,” Acone said.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.



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