Slipping and sliding, the poor man was struggling at dusk on the Bourne Bridge sidewalk thick with ice and snow. In the cold, freezing, blowing wind I saw him struggling with his hands on the cold metal frame of his bike, dragging and pushing it along. The man was painfully getting from Buzzards Bay to the other side, almost reaching the State Police Barracks on the Cape South Side. My companion was driving, and it was too dark in the evening for a photo.
This has gone on far too long. Have the entitled staff of the Corps of Engineers and the Town of Bourne absolutely no heart or compassion for those without transportation? Do those pedestrians crossing the Sagamore Bridge trying to access bus transportation to Boston deserve less than those driving vehicles to Boston? Or are those pedestrians having to use the snow-covered bridge sidewalks all considered victims of drugs, DUIs or just lowlife walkers unworthy of well-maintained sidewalk access? Is clearing snow from bridge sidewalks just considered work beneath the dignity of highly compensated town or federal employees?
No snow clearing from bridge sidewalks. This has been Bourne/Sandwich and Corps of Engineers policy for the last 13-plus years. Town and Corps of Engineers managers have agreed NOT to clear both canal bridges of sidewalk snow even though Bourne and Sandwich are partitioned by the federal bridges. The state of Massachusetts has long agreed to plow the roadways over both federal bridges. Yet the Corps of Engineers itself has justified their inaction on clearing the sidewalks of snows due to likely road salt residual on the sidewalk snow that would contaminate the ocean waters flowing under the bridge.
The Corps of Engineers is the largest engineering organization in the world and has yet to show the desire or motivation to find a solution. Bourne a few years ago purchased a sidewalk snow-clearing machine for the Buzzards Bay business and residential sidewalks, and I suggested the Corps of Engineers just pay Bourne annually to use the machine on the bridge.
Elected federal, state, county and Bourne and Sandwich officials as well as responsible operational managers have seen and clearly ignored the problem. Given the Bourne vote for Trump in 2016, even subsequent correspondence to the White House on this issue was ignored.
Is it any wonder that the public is frustrated with our dysfunctional government both locally and in Washington?
Will the problem of snow removal from the sidewalks only be compounded when the fancy, new and bigger bridge have double (four) sidewalks that need snow removal?
J. Kevin Burke