Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sagamore Bridge follies (guest editorial)

By Marie Oliva, President & CEO of the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce

Construction update from the Cape Cod Times (October 12, 2009)

Does the work on the Sagamore Bridge really need to be done? You bet. It’s a public safety issue. Are there ways to mitigate the traffic jams? Yes, through thoughtful sensible alternatives, such as opening up additional lanes off Cape on Sundays and on Cape on Fridays at least until Columbus Day Weekend, when abutment work will not allow any flexibility in lane changes. The current construction project schedule needs to be tweaked. The nature of the work is extensive and extraordinary.

What won’t work? The MMR option has been ruled out as an option by top state & federal officials due to a host of reasons, including security, inadequate roads, and more backups on Rt. 28 leading to the Bourne rotary and bridge.

Closing Exit #1 by the Christmas Tree Shop in Sagamore, as advocated by the Cape Cod Chamber, would divert traffic from Rt. 6 to Rt. 6A leading to the Bourne Bridge, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic, affecting school buses, and virtually trapping residents of Bourne & Sandwich, forcing them to go 15 to 20 miles in another direction to get to their destinations. It would seriously impact businesses and their employees.

What would be accomplished? More gridlock on other feeder roads leading to the Bourne Bridge, including Rts. 6 & 25, Wareham, Rts 28 & 6A, Bourne, and Rt. 130, Sandwich. Motorists would soon find that the alternative routes they took are no better than the one they were on. No one wins. This has been validated by every local official including Police & Fire in Bourne & Sandwich. The idea is not new and will not work.

It behooves us to look at alternatives that will help motorists, residents, and businesses. Instead of offering “panic-driven” recommendations, the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce suggests we all work together in the best interests of all the communities on Cape Cod.

Marie Oliva
President & CEO
Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce
70 Main Street
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532
p 508-759-6000 X12
f 508-759-6965

Additional Information/Articles:
CCT: Working Around Gridlock
CCT: Traffic Solutions Cause New Worries
ACE: Lane Openings Schedule Published September 22, 2009
ACE: Initial Press Release Regarding Sagamore Bridge Work - August 27, 2009


  1. The simple fact is that closing the entrance at Exit 1 will not reduce the number of cars crossing the canal. Sandwich Road would back up quickly to beyond the skating rink. Returning to Exit 2 to join the line would be a last resort. It's a mess without any clear solutions.

  2. As I understand it, the project is on an accelerated schedule so it can capture several million dollars of stimulus funds. IMHO what needs to be done is to rethink the true cost of those funds against the dollars lost in commerce as well as the tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline burned up in the grid lock. We need to look those gift horses in the mouth!

  3. What we need is a third bridge reserved for residents and trucks. That would get the heavy loads off the Sagamore and Bourne bridges and accommodate those of us who cross daily.

  4. Hey,

    The best kept secret in town is that their is a tunnel under the bulkhead at the Sandwich Marina. There is a toll of $1 each way. You can get the stickers most anywhere on Cape, but they cost $2,000. I am not expecting to leave the Cape for another 2 years so if anyone needs a sticker, give me only $200. It is laminated and can easily be put on your windshield. For your information, it is sticker #17.


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