Meetings Planned to Discuss Future of Cape Cod Canal Bridges

HYANNIS – The Army Corps of Engineers will host a series of public meetings across the region next month to discuss the future of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.

The Corps is conducting a multiyear Major Rehabilitation Evaluation study of the two bridges to determine whether major rehab work or the replacement of one or both of the spans would be the best solution.

The bridges were constructed more than 80 years ago and require an increasing amount of maintenance.

When the study is completed the Army Corps will release a Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report which will evaluate the risk and reliability of the current bridges, along with the economic benefits of several alternatives, including the continuation of routine maintenance, major rehab work, or bridge replacement.

The report will also highlight the environmental effects of the different alternatives.

“We’ll be taking comments on the study and any potential alternatives and any thoughts the public may have on environmental impacts,” said Tim Dugan, an Army Corps spokesman.

The meetings, which begin December 4 in Bourne, will provide the public with an overview of the study, including general concepts of alternatives, and allow for comments or concerns.

Dugan said there is no timetable for when the Army Corps will make a final recommendation on what to do with the bridges.

“These public meetings will kind of determine how that timeline goes,” Dugan said.

The Army Corps said the bridges are in fair to good condition.

“We maintain them well, but the issue is that they are getting older and we need to repair them more frequently,” Dugan said. “It’s costly and impacts traffic so that is one of the reasons this study is being done.”

The public information meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, December 4 at Bourne High School, 75 Waterhouse Road.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at Plymouth South High School, 490 Long Pond Road
  • Thursday, December 6 at Nantucket High School, 10 Surfside Road.
  • Tuesday, December 11 at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center, 100 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs.
  • Wednesday, December 12 at the Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street in Hyannis.

Registration begins at 6 p.m. for each meeting. An open house will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m. with informational posters and Corps staff on hand to answer questions about the study. A project overview will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by an opportunity for public comment.

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir says it is important for local residents to attend the meetings to express their concerns.

“It tells the decision makers at both the federal and state level that this is a serious matter,” Cahir said.

Cahir said Cape Codders need to show that they are concerned about safety, the economy and the environment.

“They are real, and it could have draconian impacts on our 210,000 people and 700,000 summer visitors if we don’t address it,” he said.

Cahir does believe federal officials are aware of the situation and are getting serious by conducting an in-depth study on the bridges.

Public comments will also be taken throughout the process of the study, for residents unable to attend the meetings. A project website and email address to submit comments will be provided at a later date.


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