Bourne planners plan to start looking at canal bridge impacts early

BUZZARDS BAY — Planning Board member Patricia Nemeth received lukewarm support from her colleagues when she suggested it might be time to consider the ramifications of the land reuse impacts of new bridges on the canal.

The idea to review the new bridge plans and their impact on properties on both sides of the canal comes at a time when council chairman Dan Doucette said he wanted members to focus on more appropriate for an October special mandate.

Planning not yet finally shared at the state level, but discussed locally, involves the construction of new Bourne and Sagamore bridges inside the current spans. The current bridges date from the mid-1930s.

Bridge projects impact businesses and homes

This would involve road realignments on both sides of the waterway, influence on Bourne Scenic Park at Buzzards Bay, loss of homes in South Sagamore and removal of Dunkin’ Donuts at Bourne Bridge as well as the effect in the market parking lot. at Sagamore.

There have been local assurances, however, that state officials will provide Bourne with a seat at the table when information about the new spans is beginning to circulate.

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Nemeth agrees that the ongoing adjacent land use issues “are not a short-term emergency, but I think it is a matter worth considering in maps, uses and regulations”, she said on June 23. adapt as we transform into future problems? »

The Bourne Bridge opened on June 22, 1935, and spans the Cape Cod Canal with its sister, the Sagamore Bridge.  The bridge is the symbol for many of the start of other Cape Cod vacations.

Doucette said the idea was “valid”, adding that there were complications. One, he said, involves information from hearings conducted by the state Department of Transportation, as these were virtual sessions and not very interactive in terms of audience participation.

Some say it’s too early to start assessing the impact

“We can request information still in draft form,” Doucette said. “We can look into that. But I would like members to think about what issues we can prepare for October.

He said the state has compiled information about canal area roads and how they might change in planning for new bridges, but there are no specifics.

“We kind of know where they’re going,” Doucette said in reference to state planners. “We just don’t know about the road works or how far they extend along the Mid-Cape (Route 6) or into Falmouth.”

Cars drive on the Bourne Bridge.

Board member Chris Farrell said much of what the state is considering is still “conceptual” and transportation officials still need to provide “some kind of layout” that would help local planners to review and explore future land use changes in Bourne.

“We don’t have a clue about that yet,” Farrell said. “MassDOT is one of the worst state agencies in the Commonwealth,” he said in terms of sharing key project information in a timely manner. “We don’t have anything yet that they’re ready to share because they’ve been conceptual about where the bridges are going.

“There’s nothing definitive yet, so we can’t look at the surrounding areas yet until we have something,” he said. “If they come out with something and then start construction within 15 years, I’ll be shocked.”

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Weekend night traffic crossing the Bourne Bridge.

Bourne is no stranger to previous state and federal plans to expedite automobile traffic through the canal. All involved considerable real estate implications, road realignments and land grabs. Ideas date back to the late 1950s with a bridge over Buttermilk Bay to reduce traffic volume and flow from the old Cranberry Highway approach to Cape Town.

Another plan called for a cross-Bourne freeway from Wareham to Route 3 southbound at North Sagamore. Yet another had a new freeway extending from the end of Route 25 in the late 1960s to the ridge above the canal and a new bridge over the waterway at Bournedale.

The most controversial freeway plan involved dividing Grazing Fields Farm into two as a new approach to the Bourne Bridge in the 1970s, an effort championed by city hall but successfully fought all the way to federal court by the family that owns the Ingersoll Farm. Buzzards Bay pastures, with new owners, remain intact.

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