State Transportation Officials Not Pursuing Third Canal Bridge

KA_Bourne Scenic Park Bridge_041816035BOURNE – State transportation officials have confirmed that they will no longer pursue plans for a third canal bridge, and instead will look to replace the current bridges with two new ones.

MassDOT will be focusing on the new bridges, which would be adjacent to the current bridges, with the idea that the current Sagamore and Bourne Bridges would be removed.

The announcement was made last month at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

MassDOT said that they assume the Army Corps of Engineers, which has control and custody of the bridges, will choose to replace the bridges instead of choosing a third option.

“About a year and a half ago, the Army Corps of Engineers started a three year study to be able to determine whether they would replace or continue to repair the bridges, which means that we’re about a year, year and a half away from getting the final decision on that,” said Sandwich State Representative Randy Hunt.

Transportation officials believed that a third bridge, located between the Sagamore and Bourne bridges, was a way to alleviate traffic congestion and would involve the construction of feeder roads to the bridge from Rt. 3 and Rt. 25.

But opening up land for the roadways would have a major impact in the region.

Around 20 acres of land on Joint Base Cape Cod and 37 acres of open space would be needed, but it would also affect 63 acres of rare species habitat and 17 homes.

The new bridges would be located around 25 feet from the current ones and would include two travel lanes, and an auxiliary lane to on-and-off ramps, making a six-lane bridge.

Hunt said that if the Army Corps does plan on replacing the bridges, it would be a boost to the region.

“If they do, that really take us out of the on-deck circle and to home plate to get this project started,” said Hunt.

Total width of the bridges would be 122 feet and would also include 10 foot shoulders, a six foot wide median and a 5.5 foot safety walk in the event that a car breaks down.

Curb to curb would be about 98 feet wide and by comparison, the current bridges are around 40 feet wide.

The Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study Group has proposed the construction of a new road at Belmont Circle, which would connect the Scenic Highway with Rt. 25, alleviating traffic congestion for those heading over the Bourne Bridge during the summer season.

Proponents of the third bridge option criticize the replacement bridge plan as complex and too confusing, but that a third bridge is the most logical and can’t be dismissed.

Another public meeting is scheduled in the next few weeks to discuss more findings and gather input.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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Comments

  1. What’s wrong with the current bridges? They’re pretty and functional.

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