Cape Business Leaders Breathe Sigh of Relief After Bourne Bridge Announcement

Lane closures backing up traffic over the Sagamore Bridge in April during maintenance work. The Bourne Bridge maintenance has been pushed back until spring 2019.

BOURNE – Local business leaders are applauding the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay planned fall maintenance work on the Bourne Bridge until the spring.

The Fix Coaltion – made up of local Chambers of Commerce and legislators – had sent a formal request to the Army Corps and MassDOT to delay the Bourne Bridge work until 2019.

The request was in light of permanent lane closures required during maintenance work on the Sagamore Bridge throughout April and early May.

The lane closures caused significant travel delays each day and greatly impacted residents and the local economy.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said the local business community is grateful that the concerns of Cape Codders resonated with transportation officials.

“We were afraid of a double whammy in one year having bridge work on both bridges in the spring and fall,” Northcross said. “We were very, very concerned about the economic impact that would have for Cape Codders trying to earn a livelihood or just the pure quality of life.”

CEO of the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce Marie Oliva said the business community in the canal area is relieved that the disruptive portion of the proposed fall work on the Bourne Bridge has been pushed back to 2019.

“We appreciate the Corps of Engineers coming to this conclusion based on anticipated travel volume for September,” Oliva said. “As part of the shoulder season, September is one of the busiest traveled months on the Cape.”

Even though children go back to school in September, the region still sees many vacationers.

“This is a hugely popular month for people to travel, especially empty nesters and international guests,” Northcross said. “They love the September weather. Everything is open. The Cape is beautiful.”

Northcross said there are many food festivals and other reasons to be on Cape Cod during the fall.

“We continue to actively promote the fall as our next best season after summer,” she said.

Northcross said starting construction work the day after Labor Day on one of the key gateways to Cape Cod was definitely going to have an impact.

“We know that people would stay away or they would delay their travel in that lucrative time of the year,” Northcross said. “So we are grateful that message has been heard.”

Along with the announcement of the work delay, a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MassDOT was signed to continue conversations and the sharing of information regarding the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, including scheduled maintenance and future project development.

“It’s a plus-plus in my book,” Northcross said.

Northcross said residents, visitors and businesses should have plenty of time to prepare for the disruptive work in the spring.

The Sagamore Bridge work in the spring was expected to last about 60 days but was finished three weeks early.

The Bourne Bridge work was expected to take approximately 80 days.

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