Falmouth to Cape Cod Canal Bike Path Extension Proposed

pt051615a bikeBOURNE – The Shining Sea Bike Path could be extended by about 6.5 miles to connect with the Cape Cod Canal.

The Bourne Transportation Advisory Committee recently endorsed the Cape Cod Commission plan to conduct a feasibility study on the project.

Commission Technical Services Director Glenn Cannon said the town of Falmouth came out in wide support of making that bikeway connection in a study last year.

Cannon said he sees the project going one of two ways: either they replace existing railroad in the area of Gray Gables, Monument Beach, Pocasset and Cataumet with a bike path, or build a path next to the rail trail.

“We want to give people the numbers for both so they can judge the cost and environmental factors and things they need to be able to discuss to make an informed decision,” Cannon said.

Cannon said there are a few roadblocks, especially when it comes to cost.

The proposed path would have to navigate 11 bridge crossings. If a new overpass were to be built for every one of those, Cannon said the result would be a $22 million bill.

But he said he hopes existing bridges could be modified to make biking over them safe and cut the cost of the connection dramatically.

The state Department of Transportation owns the existing rail lines and Cannon said they are used by Joint Base Cape Cod from time to time.

The idea would also land inside a 100-foot buffer of wetlands, another potential roadblock especially if a new path is constructed.

Many, however, feel the project would act as an economic stimulus for Bourne.

Cannon said the Bourne Transportation Advisory Committee has requested to be kept in the know regarding initial cost estimates and environmental impacts.

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