The Army Corps of Engineers has recommended that the 84-year old “functionally obsolete” Bourne and Sagamore bridges be replaced with new structures, according to the Cape Cod Canal Highway Bridges Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Study.
“Our recommendation, documented in the draft Major Rehab Evaluation Report, is to replace the Bourne and Sagamore highway bridges with new structures built to include the four authorized travel lanes and two additional auxiliary lanes designed as acceleration/deceleration lanes built to modern highway standards, with appropriate bike/pedestrian access,” District Engineer Col. William Conde, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, said in the release.
The report also states that the replacement of both bridges is expected to cost upwards of $1 billion. Currently both bridges are scheduled for major rehabilitation — the Sagamore Bridge in 2025 to 2027, and the Bourne Bridge in 2029 to 2031. Sagamore has an estimated cost of $185 million, while Bourne is expected to cost $210 million.
The draft Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report (MRER) and draft environmental assessment are available for review on the Corps website.
The Corps is accepting public comments on the recommendations through Nov. 1. The study is to determine whether major rehabilitation or replacement of one or both of the bridges will provide a “reliable, fiscally, and environmentally responsible solution for future access across the Canal and Cape Cod,” according to the release.
After the comment period, the Corps will address issues and concerns and finalize documents ahead of making a decision. An independent external peer review of the private and academic sectors will also review the report to advise on whether the bridges need to be replaced or can be repaired. The final MRER will be submitted to Corps headquarters in Washington D.C. for a February 2020 decision.
The MRER considers four major alternatives in its analysis: take no action and continue to repair bridges as needed, major rehabilitation of the bridges with routine maintenance, replacement of each bridge with a new structure with four lanes and bike and pedestrian access, or replacement of each bridge with a new structure with four lanes, bike and pedestrian access, and two auxiliary lanes.
Public meetings for the MRER bridge study are scheduled for the following dates:
- Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Bourne High School auditorium, 75 Waterhouse Rd., Bourne.
- Thursday, Oct. 17, at Plymouth South High School Performing Arts Center, 490 Long Pond Rd., Plymouth.
- Monday, Oct. 21, at the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building auditorium, 10 Causeway St., Boston. Registration and open house at 1 pm. Meeting starts at 1:30 pm.
- Tuesday, Oct. 22, Nauset Regional High School auditorium, 100 Cable Rd., Eastham.
- Wednesday, Oct. 23, Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main St., Hyannis.
Comments can also be made online at capecodcanalbridgesstudy.com, emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, (Att’n: Craig Martin), 696 Virginia Rd., Concord, MA 01742-275.