Project to Replace Parkers River Bridge Moving Forward

COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

YARMOUTH – Work is expected to get underway within a year to replace the Parkers River Bridge on Route 28 in Yarmouth.

The project will increase the span from 17 feet to 30 feet to restore natural tidal flow to the estuary and remove nutrients from upstream.

“This is considered an ecological restoration project where we will be essentially improving the flushing of the upper reaches of Parker River including Swan Pond,” said Karl Von Hone, the natural resources director in the town of Yarmouth. “We anticipate seeing an increase in ecological productivity and an improvement in environmental conditions.”

The town project is receiving funding through a Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will cover about $3.7 million of its $5 million price tag.

“We are working in conjunction with MassDOT. With it being their bridge, they have full oversight of it but they are working with us,” Von Hone said. “Hopefully we’ll be entering the permitting phase very shortly.”

Von Hone said expanding the space underneath the bridge should see restoration to salt marshes and wetlands.

“More importantly, we believe this will improve our ability to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the upper reaches of Parkers River,” he said.

The new bridge will also include an increased roadway. “We will increase the size of the sidewalks as well as a bike lane,” Von Hone said.

Traffic is expected to remain open across the bridge on Route 28 while work is underway.

“We will do one side of the bridge. When that is complete we will move to the other side of the bridge at all times keeping two lanes open,” Von Hone said.

Von Hone does not believe the road work will have much impact on local businesses in the area.

“We have been discussing the project with the abutting properties,” Von Hone said. “The goal is to keep access open to their businesses on a year-round basis.”

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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