The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has accepted the findings of a transportation study group that recommends replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore bridges.
The cost to build the two new bridges has been estimated at $1 billion.
The recommendation regarding bridge replacement was included in a final draft report compiled by the Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study Group. The report was five years in the making and suggests a number of additional changes to make traffic on Cape Cod’s access points more efficient.
The scenario the transportation group chose to recommend was labeled Case 3A. It includes:
• Moving Exit 1C on the westbound side of the Mid-Cape Highway closer to the entrance to the Sagamore Bridge and the Christmas Tree Shops.
• Reconfiguring Belmont Circle to create a smaller roundabout.
• Transforming the Bourne Bridge Rotary into an interchange that features several signalized intersections and a slip road from the northbound side of MacArthur Boulevard to Sandwich Road to ease traffic congestion at the Bourne Bridge Rotary.
• Creating an auxiliary road on the eastbound side of the Mid-Cape Highway that would run from the Sagamore Bridge to Exit 2.
• Constructing a new road that would create direct access to Route 25 West from Scenic Highway.
Case 3A also assumes that the US Army Corps of Engineers will replace the two spans across the canal. At 83 years old, both bridges are well beyond their expected life. They do not meet modern specifications and require more frequent and extensive repairs.
Such repairs were recently completed on the Bourne Bridge. Similar repairs were made to the Sagamore Bridge a year ago.
The new bridges would be substantially different in size and characteristics than the current 48-foot wide, two-lanes-in- each-direction spans. The draft report suggests a width of up to 138 feet, with six 12-foot-wide lanes, a 10-foot-wide median, a 12-foot-wide shared use path and a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on each side.
Both bridges are under the care, custody and control of the Army Corps, so the funding would come from the federal level.
A separate study of the bridges has been undertaken by the Army Corps. The study is exploring the possibilities of replacement or major refurbishment. That study is anticipated to be finished sometime this summer.