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Cape bridge replacements would ease pedestrian, cyclist access

Bourne Bridge
Liz Lerner
Bourne Bridge

Pedestrians and cyclists will have an easier time crossing the Cape Cod Canal once the aging Bourne and Sagamore Bridges are replaced.

At a virtual public meeting Tuesday night, state officials outlined a replacement plan that would improve multi-modal transit. “The facilities for people walking and biking on the existing bridges are deficient due to the narrow width and limited separation from traffic,” said Ryan McNeil, a project manager with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

In addition to bridge replacement, the project would also redesign the approaching roadways and utility lines.

It’s still early days for the project, said McNeil. There’s no timeline or construction design yet. And McNeil said it’s too soon to say whether any private homes would need to be taken by eminent domain during construction.

Project funding is not yet guaranteed, but it would likely come from the trillion-dollar federal infrastructure bill signed into law this week by President Biden, according to McNeil.

Some Bourne residents are eager to see the bridges replaced. Mary Jane Mastrangelo, a member of the town’s Select Board, said the existing spans cause too many delays. “School children cross the bridges every day to access from their home to their school. These bridges are so important and we need them to be functional.”

Glenn Cannon, Bourne’s assistant town administrator, said the roadway redesign could improve driver safety. “The Bourne Rotary on the Cape side [is] certainly one of the high-crash locations on all of Cape Cod—one of the most dangerous intersections we have in town and in the region—so we’d like to see that addressed.”

MassDOT will hold a second public meeting on the bridge replacements Thursday at 7 PM via Zoom.

Daniel Ackerman has left CAI.
In his time at the station he reported on the South Coast. He came to the station from Minnesota Public Radio, where he reported on science and the environment. Daniel has produced audio documentaries on a motley mix of topics, from the science of sewage to the history of automobile license plates. He holds a PhD in climate change ecology from the University of Minnesota. Daniel was a 2021-22 Report For America corps member.