BOURNE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — In a report released this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends scrapping both bridges over the Cape Cod Canal and starting from scratch.
The Corps suggests replacing both the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, which connect the Cape to mainland Massachusetts, because they are 85 years old and "functionally obsolete."
Project Manager Craig Martin of the Corps' New England district told WBZ NewsRadio the Corps reached that decision based on engineering, environmental, economic, and cost evaluations.
That cost, according to Martin, would be about a billion dollars.
"It's a higher up-front cost, but the major rehab evaluation report suggests that there are significant traffic delays that would happen under a major rehab scenario that would impact the travelling public," Martin said.
You can read the Army Corps report here:
Martin assured WBZ NewsRadio that the report did not mean that the bridges were not structurally sound.
"They are safe," Martin said. "We do an extensive amount of inspection and maintenance on the bridges to make sure that the travelling public is maintained in a safe way."
The report has drawn high praise from the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. In a statement, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as the Cape's Congressional representative, Bill Keating, threw their weight behind the report's findings.
"The Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendation to replace the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal is good news for the Cape and Islands, and for communities all across the Commonwealth," Warren said in the statement. "Updating our transportation infrastructure will help us grow our economy while enhancing our public safety, and I’m committed to seeing this important project move forward."
Under the Corps' replacement plan, both bridges would stay open and in use until the new bridges are opened to traffic.
The Army recommends those bridges be designed for bicycle and pedestrian traffic as well as vehicles.
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