Cape Cod’s late tourist season won’t be interrupted by a big construction job after all.
The US Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the two bridges over the canal, has agreed to reschedule repairs — and related lane closures — to the Bourne Bridge until next spring. The decision was announced by the Army Corps and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Tuesday.
The Army Corps was originally preparing to start work replacing joints and repairing corroded steel and damaged pavement on the bridge in September. It would have lasted until November. Cape tourism officials had worried the work would create traffic headaches during the late summer and early fall, a season that is still lucrative for the peninsula.
Similar work on the Sagamore Bridge was completed earlier this year. With one lane in each direction, the work did indeed cause backups entering and leaving the Cape. But the Sagamore repairs ended three weeks earlier than expected, with plenty of time before Memorial Day and the kickoff of the summer travel season.
The two bridges are now about 85 years old. According to the Transportation Department, the Army Corps may still need to do some maintenance work on the Bourne Bridge this year but will do so during off-peak hours.
The Army Corps is considering the longer-term future of the bridges, including full replacement of the aging but iconic structures.Adam Vaccaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.