Infrastructure Committee December – a draft proposal for the bridges

December’s Infrastructure Committee meeting covered topics from the bridge proposal to the upcoming EarthTech Expo.

The Army Corps of Engineers has presented a draft proposal for new bridges. The comment period is now closed, and we expect a final proposal in February. In this draft, the two new bridges will be built to the inside of the current bridges – east of the Bourne Bridge and west of the Sagamore Bridge. This placement causes issues on the approaches for both bridges, stranding or displacing Market Basket and Christmas Tree Shop among other businesses, as well as an existing neighborhood.

Our liaison to the Fix coalition (a group of regional organizations interested in bridge replacement) reported the new bridges are proposed to be 102 feet wide. The current bridges are 50 feet wide. From the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fact Sheet:

A new high level, fixed span bridge would be constructed immediately adjacent to each of the two existing highway bridges so as to minimize the modifications needed to the connecting roadways on both the mainland and the Cape. The new highway bridges would be designed to include access for both pedestrians and other non-vehicular traffic such as bicycles. To improve traffic safety and through traffic reliability each bridge would include two through traffic lanes and one acceleration/deceleration lane in each direction, for a total of six vehicular lanes on each bridge. (Fact Sheet Project Overview)

It was reported that the current plan is one of six alternatives under consideration.

Mass Department of Transportation plans include rebuilding Belmont Circle – the rotary at the Bourne Bridge that accesses Starbucks and Ocean State Job Lot. The Infrastructure Committee discussed the need for that work, as well as economic impact concerns related to rerouting at the Sagamore Bridge.

The Army Corps of Engineers has a deadline of 2025 to complete the work, after which they would be required to close down and renovate the 84-year-old bridges. Once the plan is accepted, they will initiate a design approval process. The budget is estimated at $500 million.

This year’s EarthTech Expo will be May 2. Last year’s exhibitors included solar companies, MassDevelopment, recycling, and natural home products among others. The committee is looking for exhibitors, with an eye toward making the Expo a place where renters and homeowners can discover how to make their homes smarter. Any ideas for resiliency and sustainability are welcome. If anyone wants to be involved in the planning of Earth Tech Expo, contact Jennifer Reid or Bert Jackson. The Expo is for all, not just those in tech.

Open Cape has started to connect in Falmouth, and is expecting to connect approximately 40 businesses by mid-January.

Expedition: Blue! A representative of the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation reported that Expedition Blue will create a network of interconnected sites across the region where participants can learn and experience everyday activities that tie our maritime heritage to the modern blue economy. In light of the Committees discussion of resiliency and sustainability, it was suggested that a network of charging stations be placed at Expedition Blue sites, to help tell the story of technology on the Cape.

The Committee suggested topics for upcoming meetings, including safer access for bikes to reduce car traffic. Committee members recommended reaching out to the Cape Cod Commission, where they believe there may be traffic planning with bike commuting in mind.

From the community:
A non-profit is looking for help managing their database. To inquire, or refer someone familiar with CRMs, please contact Bert Jackson.

CLAMS is looking for new office space with six offices and a small meeting room.

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