Cape Cod Rail, Bridges and Highways

Charlie_mta

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I'm a bit OOTL when it comes to the Canal Bridge replacements. Are the new bridges being rebuilt to Interstate Highway standards?
I assume so, because full-fledged expressways feed into both ends of both bridges.
 

Wash

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I stand corrected. I thought it was stuck in purgatory with folks trying to figure out a fixed span solution.
The grades on either side of the bridge would have to be miles long to accommodate a fixed railroad span. The tracks (and any station) in Bourne would be 300 feet above the ground. It'd be a massive project with little discernable benefit (and plenty of discernable harm!)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The grades on either side of the bridge would have to be miles long to accommodate a fixed railroad span. The tracks (and any station) in Bourne would be 300 feet above the ground. It'd be a massive project with little discernable benefit (and plenty of discernable harm!)
The bridge is also a well-designed lift, so it gets up and down very quickly. It could accommodate enormously more daily train traffic than it currently does, enough for full-blown Hyannis commuter rail.
 

jklo

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+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.
I don't think they want to encourage ped use there, mostly because there's not much reason to go across the bridge; and also to discourage jumpers.

IMO unless the millitary feels like they need it, this project should be way down on the priority list. I doubt WFH is going to save the depopulation problems the Cape has.
 

RandomWalk

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The prime rationale is tourism on the Cape. If one or both of the bridges is out of commission, that would be a major hit to the region.
 

Charlie_mta

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I don't think they want to encourage ped use there, mostly because there's not much reason to go across the bridge; and also to discourage jumpers.

IMO unless the millitary feels like they need it, this project should be way down on the priority list. I doubt WFH is going to save the depopulation problems the Cape has.
A 2-way protected bike path is essential, and also a pedestrian walkway. It would seem incredible to me that in 2022 a major bridge project would not include these essential components. This isn't 1950. These two bridges are the only way for peds and bikes to get from one side of Cape Cod Canal to the other.
 

Stlin

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I mean...
I don't think they want to encourage ped use there, mostly because there's not much reason to go across the bridge; and also to discourage jumpers.

IMO unless the millitary feels like they need it, this project should be way down on the priority list. I doubt WFH is going to save the depopulation problems the Cape has.
Every report and study so far undertaken on the replacement has included significant improvements to bike/ped facilities - they're a core design element. Besides, suicide prevention is the province of barriers, fencing etc rather than not allowing or encouraging pedestrians. Thats rather like stopping electrical fires by banning electricity. The existing 5 and 2! foot unprotected sidewalk is not going to be viable, and far from compliant with modern standards. Once the approaches with their bike facilities are rebuilt (and they almost certainly will be with or without new bridges at this point,) you got to do something with the bridges. The state concept is far more ambitious than the ACE one, but even that at a minimum is currently proposing a 10ft shared lane. For reference, the state concept is below- though worth noting that official prelim design options aren't available yet - the site currently says spring 2022.
Screenshot_20220205-173232_Acrobat for Samsung.jpg

Those bridges are also now 87 years old, having opened in 1935. regardless of how well maintained they are, they're fast approaching EoL. There's simply no other way to get to the cape if there aren't bridges. I really don't think that cutting off 200k residents would go over particularly well, nor would abandoning 1.3B in annual tourism economic impact.
 
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DominusNovus

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A 2-way protected bike path is essential, and also a pedestrian walkway. It would seem incredible to me that in 2022 a major bridge project would not include these essential components. This isn't 1950. These two bridges are the only way for peds and bikes to get from one side of Cape Cod Canal to the other.
I know it won’t happen, but from a purely non-motor vehicle perspective, I’d prefer a pedestrian/bike-only bridge in between the two highway bridges, to keep the highway traffic as far away from cyclists and pedestrians as possible.
 

Stlin

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I know it won’t happen, but from a purely non-motor vehicle perspective, I’d prefer a pedestrian/bike-only bridge in between the two highway bridges, to keep the highway traffic as far away from cyclists and pedestrians as possible.
While I agree that a bridge would never happen, this did make me think about where other bike ped connections would work. I don't think in between makes sense - too poor connections to paths, roads and population centers. A seasonal, good-weather only, water taxi esque ferry service bouncing between the Buzzards Bay and Bourne canal access parking areas underneath the rail bridge? That may have merit given presumably low capital and operating costs - especially if you get one of those electric fully autonomous mini ferries they're testing in Trondheim. Then again... With a more robust CR schedule you could just hop a train over the bridge.
 

DominusNovus

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While I agree that a bridge would never happen, this did make me think about where other bike ped connections would work. I don't think in between makes sense - too poor connections to paths, roads and population centers. A seasonal, good-weather only, water taxi esque ferry service bouncing between the Buzzards Bay and Bourne canal access parking areas underneath the rail bridge? That may have merit given presumably low capital and operating costs - especially if you get one of those electric fully autonomous mini ferries they're testing in Trondheim. Then again... With a more robust CR schedule you could just hop a train over the bridge.
I just picked in between because it sounded good. The main point is that I don’t see it making much sense, on its own, to have bike/pedestrian traffic following rte 3/6 and 25/28, where both are divided highways, and mostly controlled access (28 is a bit of a hybrid at that point).
 

Arlington

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At the moment of "add-a-lane" is a great moment to make that new lane HOV-3, which would make it a bus-and-family lane, which I think would be desirable at peak times.

or why not 2-2-2 ? Where the center 2 lanes are reversible "peak direction" and HOT lanes?
 

Charlie_mta

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The main point is that I don’t see it making much sense, on its own, to have bike/pedestrian traffic following rte 3/6 and 25/28, where both are divided highways, and mostly controlled access (28 is a bit of a hybrid at that point).
Both of the highway bridges connect to non-expressway roads at both ends of each bridge, so bike lanes on the new bridges are most definitely warranted, Also, route 28 south from the Bourne Bridge to where route 28A tales off is a divided highway but not an expressway, so bikes can use the shoulders.
 

themissinglink

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Both of the highway bridges connect to non-expressway roads at both ends of each bridge, so bike lanes on the new bridges are most definitely warranted, Also, route 28 south from the Bourne Bridge to where route 28A tales off is a divided highway but not an expressway, so bikes can use the shoulders.
IIRC one of the alternatives being considered for the Bourne rotary reconstruction included getting rid of the rotary in favor of a grade-separated highway interchange.
I'll have to look through documents later to find a source for where this was officially mentioned.
 

Charlie_mta

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IIRC one of the alternatives being considered for the Bourne rotary reconstruction included getting rid of the rotary in favor of a grade-separated highway interchange.
I'll have to look through documents later to find a source for where this was officially mentioned.
When/if they replace the rotary with an interchange, route 28 south of there will still be just a highway that bikes can use.
 

themissinglink

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When/if they replace the rotary with an interchange, route 28 south of there will still be just a highway that bikes can use.
For sure, I wasn't trying to contest anything you said and I probably should have been more clear in that regard. Your mention of the Bourne rotary had reminded me of the proposal to replace it with a highway interchange and I thought it would be a good place to drop a mention of the proposal as I don't think it's been discussed in this thread before (at least not that I'm aware of).
 

Charlie_mta

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For sure, I wasn't trying to contest anything you said and I probably should have been more clear in that regard. Your mention of the Bourne rotary had reminded me of the proposal to replace it with a highway interchange and I thought it would be a good place to drop a mention of the proposal as I don't think it's been discussed in this thread before (at least not that I'm aware of).
It makes sense that they would replace the rotary, as the rotaries that used to be on the ends of the Sycamore Bridge have been replaced with interchanges or ramps. What I think will probably happen is the new interchange replacing the route 28 rotary will include separate bike lanes and sidewalks connecting to the new Bourne Bridge's bikeway and ped trail, and these will be through-connected to the shoulders of Route 28 south the new interchange. Accommodating bikes and peds is pretty much standard practice these days on major highway or bridge projects such as these.
 
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Stlin

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For what's it's worth, here are the suggested configurations from the 2019 Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study, with minor reconfiguration as a near term "phase 1" enabling it's later replacement with an fully grade separated interchange as part of the Bourne Bridge replacement. (See how the alignment is shifted to the east, under the presumption that the new Bourne bridge will be built alongside the existing one.)
Screenshot_20220209-233840_Adobe Acrobat.jpg

Screenshot_20220209-233820_Adobe Acrobat.jpg

Below are the near term bike ped improvements, showing the then-planned near term improvements of bike/ped access paths to the current bridge. These have been completed and are currently in place.
Screenshot_20220209-235420_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
 
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kingofsheeba

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This is probably the best option, but what about the fate of the iconic Cape Cop letter bushes?

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Highwayguy

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Both of the highway bridges connect to non-expressway roads at both ends of each bridge, so bike lanes on the new bridges are most definitely warranted, Also, route 28 south from the Bourne Bridge to where route 28A tales off is a divided highway but not an expressway, so bikes can use the shoulders.
Bikes, pedestrians, and horses are apparently allowed to use the rotaries on 28, but are prohibited on the mainline. These signs are posted just downstream of each rotary and on interchange ramps. Outright prohibited on 25, 3, and 6 until Orleans. Cycle accommodations should and will be provided on the new bridges, but they will be fully separated from the vehicular lanes and will be accessed from surface streets, like the path on the Whittier in Newburyport.

Also l think technically bikes are allowed to take a lane on the bridges going NB since l couldn’t find signs prohibiting them on the on ramps closest to the bridges, but uhhh… good luck with that?
 

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fatnoah

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I fully support the suggested rotary alternative, but mostly because it continues our tradition of making nonstandard rotaries and roundabouts.
 

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