Stop & Shop has proposed building a small network of roads on a swath of undeveloped land that it owns abutting the Bourne Rotary, affording drivers the opportunity to bypass the rotary altogether.
The roads would be built off MacArthur Boulevard, just east of the rotary, on the former proposed site of Canalside Commons. The supermarket chain, under the name of Rotary Development LLC, bought the 152-acre site last October but has yet to say how the rest of the property will be developed.
Plans for the proposed bypass came before the land use subcommittee of Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School Wednesday evening, August 6. The bypass would cross onto UCT property and connect with the school’s driveway that empties out onto Sandwich Road. It would also provide new access to the school from MacArthur Boulevard.
At that meeting, the subcommittee unanimously voted to recommend that the school should allow Stop & Shop’s development company to take over the school’s existing entrance on Sandwich Road and proceed with a road development plan.
The plan is for the Stop & Shop development company to create a four-lane bypass that would stretch from MacArthur Boulevard to Sandwich Road, at the site of the school’s existing driveway.
In addition, the plan calls for a traffic signal at the existing school entrance, and a new, separate connector road that will create a new entrance to the undeveloped land on Sandwich Road that will start between the rotary and the school entrance and exit in the back of Upper Cape Tech property.
The subcommittee’s recommendation now heads to UCT’s full school committee on Thursday, August 14.
“Is what they are offering worth the land they are taking?” Upper Cape Tech superintendent Robert A. Dutch asked the land use subcommittee. “I like the proposal because it creates controlled right and left hand turns onto the property.”
“This will enhance our property tenfold and make it safer for our students, at no cost to us, this is a plus, plus, win, win for both sides, “ said committee member Michael D. Degan, a resident of Sandwich.
Mr. Dutch reminded the subcommittee that at one point in the school’s history administrators had investigated putting up a traffic signal at the school’s entrance, but the $2.1 million cost stopped them. If a traffic signal goes up now, it will be paid for by the Stop & Shop developers.
Mr. Dutch also reminded the subcommittee that the retail company officials have not decided what they will develop on the land they own but that these road improvements and developments will allow them to start the process.
“They are in the very preliminary stages of development and this is the first step,” Mr. Dutch said.
Continuing the discussion about the proposed roads, Mary L. Crooke, a committee member from Bourne, asked about traffic patterns and increases.
Mr. Dutch said because he does not know what will be developed on the land, he can’t be sure of how the traffic will be influenced. He did say, however, that the Town of Bourne is more interested in the Monday through Friday traffic that a medical or business complex would create than the increased weekend traffic a retail complex would create.
Robert N. Fichtenmayer, chairman of the school committee and a resident of Wareham, asked who would own the roads when the development was completed, and who would plow the snow.
Mr. Dutch said snow removal would not be the school’s responsibility based on the proposed plan and either the state or the town would take responsibility for them.
The school’s lawyer has been asked to examine whether the committee is the appropriate authority to permit the changes in the roads.
Stop & Shop representatives have been invited to the August 14 meeting but Mr. Dutch was unsure whether they will attend.