Cape Officials Frustrated with State Shelving of New Toll Bridge

sagamore bridgeBOURNE – State officials put the discussions of building a toll bridge over the Cape Cod Canal on hold and Cape officials are frustrated with that decision.

The state’s transportation secretary Stephanie Pollack said more consultation from the Army Corps of Engineers is required and will seek federal funds for solutions as opposed to a public-private partnership.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross says there needs to be more urgency.

“We’re all for construction costs being covered by somebody else but we don’t have 20 years to wait and that’s what we’ve been told by the federal government, by the Army Corps, by the Federal Highway Department,” Northcross said.

Northcross reiterated that it could take a minimum of 20 to 30 years before any federal dollars could be secured for a bridge over the canal.

Northcross said the Amry Corps has already been consulted on the conditions of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges which are over 80 years old.

“We’re very frustrated by that because we feel that assessment has been conducted and that we know we are dealing with an increasingly chronic maintenance cycle that is going to be more frequent.”

The increase maintenance would cause more lane closures for Cape residents outside of the summer tourist season.

“We are not talking about summer peak weekends here. That is going to be an issue going forward probably no matter what,” Northcross said. “We are talking about when people are trying to get to the hospital, trying to get to Logan Airport, trying to get to work.”

Northcross said the increased maintenance would hurt the regions economy.

Northcross said the chamber and other officials on the Cape had been told by state officials and the Baker Administration that solutions for replacement bridges over the canal were a priority and that they would not ignore the fact that the bridges are aging.

Northcross plans to talk with state officials to try to get a seat at the table to discuss the issue further.

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