Rail Trail Expansion Progressing With New Bridge Over Bass River

DENNIS –Walkers and bicyclists are getting excited about a 165 foot bicycle and pedestrian bridge that is being installed over Bass River by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

It’s part of an expansion on the popular Cape Cod Rail Trail. The project includes two other bridges which were built last year over Station Avenue in South Yarmouth and in South Dennis over Route 134.

DeWitt Davenport, co-founder of Friends of Bass River, is enthusiastic.

“The flow underneath that bridge will be approximately two times what it was when it was the old railroad bridge,” he said.

The project widened the channel to reduce the velocity of the flow under the bridge and increase the volume of water to the south.

“Between the throat being widened and the depth being increased, it’s going to be fantastic,” Davenport said.

There will be a deck overlooking the river next to the bridge. Once completed, 3.7 miles of bike path will be added in Yarmouth.

Davenport said that a focal point is dealing with a major problem affecting water quality.

“A state report came out that the total nitrogen count in Bass River is 47% greater than the state minimums,” he said.

Additional dredging is also planned to further help with tidal flushing in the nitrogen overloaded Follins Pond area.

The new bridge will be opened later this year.

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