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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended the replacement of both the Bourne and Sagamore bridges Thursday in a new report, opening up a public comment period on what could shape up as a pair of major construction projects.

If advanced, the project will potentially expand the bridges to include four travel lanes and two additional acceleration and deceleration lanes. The 84-year-old bridges increasingly require more repairs and maintenance, the Army Corps indicated, which is costly and causes significant impact to traffic crossing the Cape Cod Canal, traffic which has been blamed in part for the Cape’s housing and labor challenges.

“Our recommendation, documented in the draft Major Rehab Evaluation Report, is to replace the Bourne and Sagamore highway bridges,” District Engineer Col. William Conde, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, said in a statement.

Residents of the impacted areas can attend five public hearings to air their thoughts on the potential replacement of the two major gateways to Cape Cod. The Corps scheduled meetings for Oct. 16 at Bourne High School, Oct. 17 at Plymouth South High School, Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building in Boston, Oct. 22 at Nauset Regional High School, and Oct. 23 at Barnstable High School.

The Corps’ Draft Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report determined whether the bridges required replacement or repair and focuses on whether the project is a reliable, fiscally, and environmentally responsible solution for future access across the Canal of Cape Cod.

“The two existing bridges would remain in in operation until the new bridges are opened to traffic,” according to the report. “The fate of the two existing bridges will be determined in the detailed design phase, but for now it is assumed that they would be closed to traffic and demolished once the new bridges are opened.”

Replace Cape Cod Bridges, Army Corps of Engineers Says

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min