Third Bridge Meeting To Be First in Series

canal railroad bridgeBUZZARDS BAY – The state is undertaking a comprehensive study of access to the Cape, including the concept of a third bridge, and the public will have the opportunity to weigh in with ideas and comments next week.

As the first in a series of open sessions, a Public Informational Meeting for the Cape Cod Canal Area Transportation Study has been scheduled by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for Thursday, January 15. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Admirals Hall on the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Campus.

The campus is located at 101 Academy Drive in Bourne, and directional signs will also be posted on site.

The purpose of the meeting will be to introduce the recently initiated conceptual planning study, and to solicit input from the general public on the study’s goals and framework.

The Sagamore and Bourne Bridges, as well as the moveable rail bridge across the Cape Cod Canal, are the primary means of access to and from the mainland for the 15 towns and 215,000 people who live on Cape Cod.

“While in previous years off-season mobility over the bridges was unimpeded, the two functionally obsolete highway bridges are 80 years old and have required increased maintenance activities by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers,” according to a statement released by MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes.

Verseckes gave three primary reasons that the bridge work means the state needs to look closely at the issue.

“This required maintenance has and will continue to necessitate lane closures and resulting delays with increasing frequency over the coming years.  This will have a significant impact on emergency access and safety, community connectivity, and impacts to the economic activity of the Cape Cod communities.  For these primary reasons, MassDOT has initiated the Cape Cod Canal Area Transportation Study,” he wrote.

He also gave details on the study.

“This study effort will examine existing and future multi-modal transportation deficiencies and needs around the Cape Cod Canal area in Bourne and Sandwich. The study will also entail the development and analysis of a full range of transportation alternatives including highway, interchange, and non-highway improvements, as well as options and design elements that improve access for all modes,” he wrote.

His final statement in the release mentions the idea of a third bridge and states that the study will be completed at the end of 2015.

“The alternatives considered will also include the evaluation of potential alignments for an additional crossing over the Cape Cod Canal.  The overall product of the study, which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2015, will be a package of short, medium, and long-term recommendations for improvements,” he wrote.
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