Narrow bridges

Four new bridges for Cape Cod

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images

State officials want Massachusetts residents to help design a pair of twin bridges to eventually connect Cape Cod to the mainland.

Driving the news: MassDOT officials floated the idea of ​​replacing the Bourne and Sagamore bridges with two pairs of twin bridges at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

The big picture: The twin bridges would “eliminate traffic from existing and defective structures as soon as possible,” Boston.com reported, adding that state highway officials believe building a total of four bridges would be best for traffic. during and after construction.

  • “Twin bridges are structurally more efficient and have a shallower structural depth than a single bridge, officials say.”

Like anyone driving on the bridges can tell you, the roadways are incredibly narrow, there’s no shoulder to speak of, and pedestrians and cyclists weren’t exactly in the minds of the designers of the 1933 bridges.

What is happening: MassDOT officials came up with three feasible designs, by WAI. They are looking for people to provide feedback and complete a survey on the project.

  • An arch design would be very similar to existing bridges and could be pre-assembled and floated down the canal.
  • A cable-stayed bridge like the Zakim Bridge in Boston would be a visual departure, might cost more, and might be more vulnerable to wind during construction.
  • The concrete box girder designs would essentially be twin flat surfaces without any kind of “walkway experience” to Cape Cod.

And after: MassDOT doesn’t expect construction of the bridges to begin until 2027, so there’s plenty of time to discuss the design to put in place.