Cape Cod Bridges and Roadway Safety
The last decade has Massachusetts looking at the shape of Cape Cod bridges and roadway safety since a majority are in serious need of repair or replacement. Both safety and functional concerns have drivers and state and local government in Massachusetts taking notice. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) has slowly been chipping away at the number of deteriorating and structurally questionable bridges in the state. Wendy Northcross, chief executive of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce said, “the bridge work, combined with a massive project by the state to improve roads and intersections leading on and off the Cape, could make a huge difference.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects the Bourne Bridge and Sagamore Bridge will need replacing within the next five years. Built in the early 1930’s the bridges have held up well with ongoing repairs over the years, but they weren’t built to last more than a century or sustain the thousands of cars traversing to and from the Cape daily, let alone the quadrupling automobile and motoring population in the summer months. Although the Army Corps has not completed designs or finalized federal funds for this massive project, they have indicated the structures’ safety concerns could be addressed by the following:
- better merge options;
- improved bike and pedestrian access;
- increasing the bridges’ travel lanes from ten feet to twelve feet wide and;
- widening the bridge spans by twice as much as the existing 46-foot roadways.
Not only are these functional and more convenient travel conditions for local residents and motorists near and far, these improvements hopefully offer confidence to drivers and pedestrians that serious injuries from accidents will be lessened.
DAVID KAMERMAN/GLOBE STAFF