MassDOT assembling local advisers on Cape Cod bridge project
State transportation officials have invited more than a dozen public and private entities to be part of an advisory group on the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore bridges.
Invitees include chambers of commerce, police and school representatives, and local elected officials.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation staff and consultants discussed the new advisory group and other aspects of the project at a meeting Wednesday focused on the road connections for the Bourne Bridge.
A similar meeting on Sagamore Bridge connections is planned for next Wednesday.
Project manager Bryan Cordeiro said the advisers will help evaluate the alternatives the state unveiled this week for local road configuration around the bridges.
“We'll … grade or rank each interchange option amongst each other, and then we will also do that with the help of the advisory group,” he said. “We’ll be working with them, convening those meetings as soon as possible this spring.”
Both bridges could be under construction at the same time, but that decision hasn’t been finalized, Cordeiro said.
“A lot of that will be up to the construction contractor,” he said. “There's a high likelihood that they would be constructed simultaneously. And if there was any one that went first before the other, it would be the Sagamore Bridge.”
Officials say traffic flow won’t be any worse during construction, because the new bridges will be built beside the old. No lane closures are anticipated on the old bridges as a result of the construction.
But the bike paths along both sides of the canal — which are U.S. Army Corps of Engineers service roads — are likely to see detours during bridge construction.
Lead bridge designer John Smith said the extent of bike path closures will depend on the equipment and methods used to build the bridges.
“They're very, very high at the … four points where they cross the canal shoreline, where that path is,” he said. “And there are going to be periods where we're probably not going to be able to safely provide access along that canal path.”
They presented maps that show the rotary on the Cape side would be eliminated, and more ramps could be added to keep congestion off local roads.
Proposed changes to nearby roadways include new ramps and elimination of the Bourne rotary on the Cape side.
Cordeiro said MassDOT plans to file an environmental notification form by May 10. Construction is estimated to start in 2026.
As of Wednesday, the full list invited to be part of the advisory group consists of: the Bourne Select Board, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the Bourne Police Department, the Bourne Public Schools, the Bourne Select Board Advisory Committee on Pedestrian and Bicycle Pathways, the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Commission, the Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Bourne town administrator, and state and federal elected officials.