Cape Cod Rail, Bridges and Highways

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
280
Reaction score
132
Well well, what do we have here?

Cape Cod Times - State puts brakes on plan to renumber Route 6 signs

“The new exit signs are needed to replace signs that are showing the signs of old age; they are faded or have some structural issues. We will be having meetings with the Cape’s legislative delegation to discuss what the new signs will look like but can state that they will be in keeping with the scenic nature of the Route 6 corridor and will be as unobtrusive as possible while still doing the job of guiding drivers to the exits," MassDOT communications director Jacquelyn Goddard wrote in an email. "More about the new sign options will be discussed by Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin when he personally meets with officials to start a public process.”
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
8,234
Reaction score
4,769
http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Port..._materials/CapitalInvestmentPlan2017-2021.pdf

MassDOT '17-'21 CIP has a pretty fat menu of Cape rail improvements scheduled. Lots more Middleboro-Hyannis mainline improvements, and Falmouth Branch improvements for the dinner train. As well as a big-$$$ SGR package to thoroughly rebuild the Middleboro Secondary (Attleboro-Middleboro). That one is a freight I.O.U. from the huge CSX deal 8 years ago to allow heavier freights from the South Coast to interchange with CSX. But also has the upshot of increasing passenger speeds on the branch to up to 40 MPH, raising intriguing possibility of trialing a Providence-flank Cape Flyer or coaxing back the Amtrak Cape Codder.

Itemization of the stuff scheduled:

Cape Main (Middleboro-Hyannis)
Cohasset Narrows Bridge replacement (the river crossing on final approach to Buzzards Bay station): $8.2M
Track work: $7M
Yards and "support facilities" upgrades (unclear what % of this is Hyannis/passenger -supporting or Rochester/trash train -supporting): $10.5M
Hyannis Route 28 reconfiguration, rail-related work (Route 28 being reconfigured @ grade crossing next to Hyannis station; this is rail reconfig attached to that MassHighway project): $2.2M
Bridges and culverts: $2.1M
Grade crossing improvements: $1.9M
Siding upgrades (new rail, ties, ballast @ 4 sites): $1.5M
Station fencing & railing installs @ Hyannis + Wareham: $183K
Other: $558K

Falmouth Secondary
Grade crossing improvements (re-doing worn surfaces, poss. crossing gate installations): $1.5M
"Structures" (???): $1.2M
Track improvements: $999K
Bridges and culverts: $135K
Other: $73K

Middleboro Secondary
Track improvements: $12.9M
Grade crossing protection improvements (prob. gating all remaining unprotected crossings): $3.6M
Bridges and culverts: $2.9M
Grade crossing surfaces renewal: $1.8M
Other: $2.6M
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
5,369
Reaction score
1,986
What is the meaning/implication of $7m for track work on the cape main? Could that be tie replacement to raise speed, or would that work cost more or be named more explicitly?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
8,234
Reaction score
4,769
What is the meaning/implication of $7m for track work on the cape main? Could that be tie replacement to raise speed, or would that work cost more or be named more explicitly?
Don't know. Can't read from a single budget line item exactly where the track work is going to be spread because "Cape Main" is considered everything Middleboro-Hyannis, including the mainland portion that's already more or less up to the 60 MPH max speed for unsignaled track. We don't know if they're applying this to attack specific slow zones on the Cape and apply most of the $$$ towards speed increases. We don't know if they're going back over areas previously upgraded "good enough" and reinforcing prior work so speed restrictions don't pop back up. Number of allowable bad ties per 6 dozen feet of track is the primary measure of allowable FRA track class, so if they only replaced a threadbare number to achieve the original speed increases there are additional purely-SGR related installments of tie replacement they'd have to do to backstop prior work and make it last at the decade-level. Otherwise you end up with something like last summer's awful Downeaster speed restrictions where NNEPRA tried to coast for too long on their initial 2001 set of upgrades without scheduling follow-through tie replacement, and it bit them in the butt with a multi-month meltdown of late trains and cancellations.


I would reason that $7M worth of track work is going to result in some noticeable speed increases, because $7M is a decent chunk of change. We know that the $12.9M in track work programmed for the Middleboro Secondary is explicitly being spent to raise its track class for freight from Class 1 (10 MPH freight/25 MPH passenger) to Class 2 (25 MPH freight/40 MPH passenger). It's well-established fact that it's significantly less costly to raise Class 2 track to Class 3 (40 MPH freight/60 MPH passenger) because the good vs. bad tie ratio is considerably narrower than it is between Class 1 and Class 2. So you can extrapolate from current speeds that the $7M sum is going to do some very noticeable good. We just don't know where, over how many track miles, or what it entails for schedule savings.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
8,753
Reaction score
5,859
Baker secures deal with federal government to replace Cape Cod Canal bridges




“Upon returning from a Pentagon meeting with a top Army Corps of Engineers official, Gov. Charlie Baker told GBH News he's confident he's secured a commitment from the federal government to pay for the replacement of the two aging bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal. The estimated cost of the project: up to $2 billion.”

"I am optimistic that we can get this thing launched before the end of this year," Baker said of the financing plan, which has been in the works since shortly after he took office in 2015.”

https://www.wgbh.org/news/politics/...-government-to-replace-cape-cod-canal-bridges
 

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
6,002
Reaction score
5,275
"I am optimistic that we can get this thing launched before the end of this year," Baker said of the financing plan, which has been in the works since shortly after he took office in 2015.”

https://www.wgbh.org/news/politics/...-government-to-replace-cape-cod-canal-bridges
If this financing has been under negotiation since 2015, then does it not come out of MA's Infrastructure Bill money?

EDIT: Never mind, the answer's in the article.

The plan would take advantage of the recent infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden to rebuild the bridges as a federal Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration project, which the Army Corps would competitively bid on. If the Corps wins the bid, the funds for construction of the two new bridges and demolition of the old bridges would not affect the funds coming to Massachusetts for its own infrastructure needs.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
3,037
Reaction score
1,716
$2 billion? Is that $1B per bridge?
We could completely replace the Needham Line with OLX and GLX 2.0 for that, or even less. But aside from certain niche groups like AB members, most people won't blink at the idea that we of course need to spend ungodly amounts of money on car infrastructure.
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
964
Reaction score
253
We could completely replace the Needham Line with OLX and GLX 2.0 for that, or even less. But aside from certain niche groups like AB members, most people won't blink at the idea that we of course need to spend ungodly amounts of money on car infrastructure.
Not to mention that you are talking about the Cape.
 

North Shore

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
211
Reaction score
171
We could completely replace the Needham Line with OLX and GLX 2.0 for that, or even less. But aside from certain niche groups like AB members, most people won't blink at the idea that we of course need to spend ungodly amounts of money on car infrastructure.
In an ideal world, we'd have a robust public transit system that gets people from the core urbanized areas in an around Boston to the Cape, along with a light rail system within the Cape itself.

But we don't. And the fact remains that Cape tourism is a major economic engine for the state. And no matter how many people take the Cape Flyer, the harsh reality is that the vast majority of people (including a significant amount of out-of-towners from beyond SE MA) are going to drive there. The current infrastructure is obsolete. Replacing the bridges with modern ones that provide not only improved vehicular access, but safer pedestrian and bicycle accommodation is far overdue.
 

fatnoah

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
146
/in an ideal world, we'd have a robust public transit system that gets people from the core urbanized areas in an around Boston to the Cape, along with a light rail system within the Cape itself.
Average (pre-COVID) daily traffic over the bridges ranges from 80k - 136k per month. In terms of people, that's probably close to the ridership of the entire Commuter Rail system. I'd go so far to say that even with an amazingly robust transportation system, we'd still need the bridges.
 

DominusNovus

Active Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
943
Reaction score
71
We could completely replace the Needham Line with OLX and GLX 2.0 for that, or even less. But aside from certain niche groups like AB members, most people won't blink at the idea that we of course need to spend ungodly amounts of money on car infrastructure.
Rail is nice, but you can't rely on that for the primary means of connection with an entire peninsula.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,034
Rail is nice, but you can't rely on that for the primary means of connection with an entire peninsula.
+1 ^ There has to be a basic transportation network that includes roads as well as rail. There are only two bridges connecting Cape Cod to the mainland, and they both suck. They're really narrow, they have virtually no pedestrian/bike capability, and they're old.
 

RandomWalk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
1,997
Reaction score
1,963
This doesn’t involve replacement of the rail bridge that crosses the canal. Is that going to be left to rot?
 

RandomWalk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
1,997
Reaction score
1,963
I stand corrected. I thought it was stuck in purgatory with folks trying to figure out a fixed span solution.
 

themissinglink

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
375
Reaction score
996
I'm a bit OOTL when it comes to the Canal Bridge replacements. Are the new bridges being rebuilt to Interstate Highway standards?
 

Top