Canal Bike Path

Cyclists on the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

The group charged with coordinating construction of the bike path extension from North Falmouth to the Cape Cod Canal may turn to the federal government for funding. The advisory committee has set its sights on funding through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Bourne Town Administrator’s Advisory Committee on a Pedestrian Bicycle Pathway met on Wednesday, June 15. The group discussed the possibility of applying for funding through the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program, which is part of the infrastructure law.

According to the US Department of Transportation’s website, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program with $5 billion in appropriated funds over the next five years. The grant program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries, the USDOT said.

Pathway committee chairman David J. McPherson said the members voted in favor of reaching out to the Cape Cod Commission for its input on the project’s eligibility for the grant program. The committee will also inquire as to whether the commission can assist with the grant application, Mr. McPherson said.

The committee discussed applying for funds that would be applied to construction of the bike path extension. However, a specific amount to apply for was not part of the discussion, he said.

“So, no final decision on applying for the grant program, but we’re definitely interested and looking into it,” Mr. McPherson said.

The proposed 6.5-mile extension would run from North Falmouth to the Cape Cod Canal and would connect the Shining Sea Bikeway with the Canal Service Road. The project is being done in four phases.

Phase 1 goes from Bell Road to Monument Neck Road. Phase 2 stretches south from Monument Neck Road to Monks Cove in Pocasset. Phase 3 would extend from Monks Park to the Shore Road overpass bridge on Shipyard Lane by Kingman Yacht Center. Phase 4 will run from Shipyard Lane to the Falmouth town line.

In January, the advisory committee reported that the cost of construction for Phases 1, 2 and 4 was projected at $15,990,851. No estimate for Phase 3 was released because that part of the project has not been submitted to MassDOT.

This week, Mr. McPherson admitted that the construction cost has likely escalated. There is still no estimate for Phase 3, he said.

At a Special Town Meeting last November, the bike path extension project was awarded $225,000 in Community Preservation Act funds. Prior to the November session, Bourne residents had approved $250,000 in CPA funds to the bike path project. With that funding, Mr. McPherson said, the committee was able to secure $2.4 million in state funding.

The committee has also decided to apply, again, to the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program. In 2019 the committee received $285,000 from the state program, and in 2020 the group was awarded another $100,000.

Last year, the committee’s application to the recreational trails program for a $300,000 grant was rejected. A specific amount the committee will apply for this year has not been determined, but it is expected to be in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, Mr. McPherson said.

Some committee changes were also made during Wednesday’s meeting, Mr. McPherson said. He said that he remains as the committee’s chairman. In addition, select board member Mary Jane Mastrangelo has been named the board’s representative to the committee.

Ms. Mastrangelo replaces former select board member George G. Slade Jr. Mr. Slade did not run for reelection to the board this year, so he could not continue as the board’s representative, Mr. McPherson said.

However, Mr. Slade will remain with the committee as an at-large member, Mr. McPherson said.

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