USACE conducted a multi-year Major Rehabilitation Evaluation (MRE) Study of the Bourne and Sagamore Highway Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal Federal Navigation Project. The MRE Study determined replacement of both bridges will provide the most reliable, fiscally responsible solution for the future.
The existing bridges were constructed 84 years ago and require frequent maintenance, which is costly and causes significant impact to traffic crossing the Cape Cod Canal. As part of the standard operation and maintenance scheduling for the Bourne and Sagamore Highway Bridges, USACE identifies a 5-year maintenance schedule and cost for repairs. When the maintenance construction costs are anticipated to exceed $20M or 2 years to complete, a Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report (MRER) is required to assess a 50 year time frame for operation and maintenance and to evaluate alternatives that continue to serve the mission of the federal works project.
The MRER evaluated the current conditions of the bridges and what alternatives were feasible. The MRER was based on structural engineering analysis of the bridges, the cost estimates for rehabilitation and/or replacement alternatives, environmental effects of the alternatives, and the economic benefits of the alternatives. The ultimate objective was to identify the most cost effective plan to maintain access across the Canal for the next 50+ years for the traveling public.
As part of this MRER evaluation process, USACE developed an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to examine the potential impacts associated with the base conditions and alternatives examined within the MRER.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to work with its strategic partners and stakeholders including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), members of Congress and the public to plan the next phase of the project. We look forward to working together to deliver modern, reliable bridges for the residents and visitors of Cape Cod.