BOURNE (CBS) – Cape Cod’s Sagamore and Bourne bridges are pushing 84 years old.
When they were built, 26,000 people lived on the Cape. Now, nearly 220,000 live there year-round, and, of course, many more live there during the summer.
The result? Legendary traffic jams that cost Cape businesses millions of dollars.
“We know that when the bridges are under repair, it’ll be a $33 million hit to our economy,” said Wendy Northcross, of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
So for five years now, state and federal engineers have been coming up with plans for two new bridges and – perhaps more importantly – an all-new highway system leading to and from the bridges.
“You can’t just pour a lot of people onto narrow roadways without creating more problems,” said Tom Cahir, of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.
The old bridges require constant maintenance and still, they’re overmatched by the traffic. In six years, they’ll need a major overhaul.
“The goal is to have a plan at least to replace them before we have to put that major work into it in 2025,” said John MacPherson, of the Army Corps of Engineers.