The Sagamore Bridge traffic crisis, however, is an immediate problem that will not be mitigated with a long-term solution. The Army Corps of Engineers has been working diligently for years to maintain the two canal bridges, ensuring safety and lengthening lifespans. It does appear, though, that the pace of preventive maintenance (PM) has picked up over the past five years with joint and deck replacements and now the repair and replacement of structural components.
1) "Smart" cones that provide up-to-the-minute traffic data that would be shared online, on the 511 info line, and on radio stations. That request has not been addressed but we'll press for that for the fall lane closures.
2) Moving the equipment off the bridge on weekends. The three-hour process of moving the equipment (about 11 pieces, best I can tell) would be a much better alternative to leaving thousands of people wasting their time waiting to leave Cape Cod.
3) Closing the Exit 1 on-ramp. The traffic people are not convinced that this will increase the number of cars crossing the bridge. If it does not, then the effect will be that the line on Route 6 will grow longer. However, the traffic jam in Sandwich would be lessened with only the cars headed for the Bourne Bridge traveling via 6A and the side streets of Sandwich. I'm willing to give it a shot while measuring the traffic count crossing the bridge so that we know for sure if closing the Exit 1 entrance would improve the situation.
4) Accessing the base as an alternate route. We also requested this as a temporary solution and were turned down because a) the 24/7 security of the MMR cannot be compromised, and 2) the condition of the roads that would be used are only fair now and would not support the increased traffic. All of this is debatable, of course, but we did make the request.
We'll continue to push for changes to the traffic plan (or lack of one) over the summer with the hope that we can lessen the pain when the Army Corps picks up on this project after Labor Day.