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Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

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Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

Post  mermaid on Wed May 16, 2012 5:40 am

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May 15, 2012

BOURNE — The mess of traffic caused by ongoing maintenance work on the Sagamore Bridge left drivers frustrated and confused over Mother's Day weekend.

In phone calls and emails Monday, Times readers continued to question why all travel lanes on the bridge aren't open when there doesn't appear to be work going on. They also questioned why the work doesn't go on all night.

Readers offer Sagamore traffic solutionsGonsalves: Traffic solutions slowed by gridlockConstruction keeps Cape traffic cloggedAn official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said work is going on seven days a week in two 10-hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Sunday, a day with some of the worst traffic delays so far, however, one of the shifts did not work, Army Corps spokesman Timothy Dugan said.

Although he was unsure of the reason, typically the working hours are subject to weather, especially wind, Dugan said.

If winds exceed 25 mph, workers must come down off the large mechanical lifts for safety reasons, he said.

Removing barriers and the lifts from the bridge takes several hours and would cause greater traffic jams because the highway must be blocked off completely so the lifts can be moved across the road, he said. The resulting loss in work hours could add up to days that would have to be made up later, he said.

The work, which includes maintenance of the bridge's steel structure, must be done, Dugan said, adding that both bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal are approaching 80 years in age.

"These are pretty old bridges," he said. "They're not getting any younger."

The work restricting the bridge to one lane in either direction must be suspended by Memorial Day weekend, when all major road construction projects on the Cape are stopped for the summer.


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Readers offer Sagamore solutions

Post  mermaid on Wed May 16, 2012 5:46 am

http://2.hidemyass.com/ip-1/encoded/Oi8vd3d3LmNhcGVjb2RvbmxpbmUuY29tL2FwcHMvcGJjcy5kbGwvYXJ0aWNsZT9BSUQ9LzIwMTIwNTE1L05FV1MvMTIwNTE5ODUx

CAPE COD TIMES
May 15, 2012
Here's the good news for those of you unfortunate enough to drive over the Sagamore Bridge in recent weeks: Work will end by Memorial Day weekend.

The bad news?

And it will involve bridge lane closures.

Just for the record, an Army Corps of Engineers official told the Times yesterday that the current work has been going on seven days a week in two 10-hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Mother's Day, a day with some of the worst traffic delays yet, one of the shifts did not work.

And so we asked our Facebook followers today for their ideas on alleviating the chronic traffic woes from all of this maintenance work on the Sagamore Bridge over the years. Here are a few of them:

= Work 24 hours a day and get it done. 2. Go to a single lane at Exit 2. 3. Clear the equipment and barriers on weekends. - Wendell Sharp

= Move the cones on weekends and open up all the lanes and work 24x7 to get the damn thing done!! - Keith M Gattozzi

= Open up all lanes for the weekend traffic. Close the on-ramp in front of the Christmas Tree Shop on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and re-route the Sagamore traffic from Exit 1C back to Exit 2 to enter the Mid-Cape Highway westbound to the Sagamore Bridge. Then there will be NO traffic jams at all. - Paul Barber

= Start the 2nd shift at 7 p.m. not 4 p.m. to allow people to get home during the week. Suspend all work on weekends to allow increased traffic. Maybe they should have done this or chipped away at this during our mild winter? - Margie Russell

= Build another bridge - Lisa Sylvester

= Don't work weekends. Close Exit 1 on ramp. Most backups are caused by traffic coming on trying to beat the backup. - Stephen F Healy

= Tunnels and ferries. - Nora Ashley

= CC Canal Tunnel, of course. - Adrian O'Leary

= Stop spending tax dollars to put a bandage on a dying horse's leg. Why are we trying to nurse a bridge that is past its life span? Build a new bridge and stop trying to milk the taxpayer for unneeded construction. I want to see one eight-lane bridge over the Cape Cod Canal before I die. - Jake Turk

= There is no need to keep the lanes closed during the weekend for the sole purpose if not wanting to move a construction trailer and an porta-john. This isn't the same as when they repaired the road surface 2 years ago. There is no legitimate reason why the equipment can't be moved off the bridge when work is not taking place. - Doug McLellan

= There were no police there directing traffic. Because of this, we all start merging into the one lane - and then all the really fine people who don't understand cooperation started passing everyone on the left, especially in the breakdown lane. Of course they have to merge into the traffic lane eventually but by doing what they do they slow everything down a lot. So were were the police to stop this? Do they not care how they could make things better? - El Supremo

Go to the Times' Facebook site to offer up your suggestion.
__________________________________________




Hmm. Facebook?? I`d rather wait a couple hours at the bridges.


Last edited by mermaid on Wed May 16, 2012 5:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : #%&*$##@ !!)
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Fuming over the Sagamore Bridge Gridlock

Post  mermaid on Thu May 17, 2012 6:18 am

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Fuming over the Sagamore Bridge gridlock

May 17, 2012The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has justly prided itself on its critical contributions during World War II. It built bridges over battlefront rivers like the Roer and Rapido in days. It built the Gouldin Railroad Bridge across the Rhine in 10 days in 1945. It built airstrips on atolls and supply routes through jungles seemingly overnight. In 1942 it built a strategic 1,523-mile, all-weather road from British Columbia to Alaska in six months — 63 miles per week, nine miles per day.

Can this possibly be the same Corps of Engineers that several years ago needed five months to replace 600 feet of Sagamore Bridge decking? What would Gen. Eisenhower have said if he'd ordered such work for an invasion — or evacuation —and heard that?

And now, again, we see work stretched over many weeks, stalled traffic stretched over many miles.

Bridge maintenance is essential, disruption unavoidable. But the imperative is that work be done rapidly. We need to see huge deployments of machinery and labor, 24/7. We need to see commitment to speed from the Army Corps akin to a war footing. We need our political leadership getting adamant and angry. Yet we see none of this.

Dana Hornig

Marstons Mills
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Good letter Dana!! I don`t believe they`ll listen though. Chances of being eaten by a shark are far greater than them moving faster. :sharksharkshark:
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Poorly planned roadwork should be stopped, Now.

Post  mermaid on Thu May 17, 2012 6:27 am

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Poorly planned roadwork should be stopped, now

May 17, 2012Enough already! After having been imprisoned in gridlock for an hour on more than one occasion (I was one of the lucky ones) and reading about seven-mile backups at the Sagamore Bridge, I say the time is long overdue for the Army Corps of Engineers to pack up its Tonka Toys and go home.

Furthermore, the Army Corps, the state Department of Transportation and National Grid should be called on the carpet to account for poor and thoughtless "construction" planning at the expense of the citizenry.

Just how much of any of this "work" was necessary? Why was there no plan to expedite traffic either around or through the "construction" sites? Why did not the state police do this instead of gabbing on the bridge?

I can't speak for everybody, but I'm one citizen who has no use for the tedium of traffic jams from Route 6A in Brewster to the Sagamore.

Also, the poorly located Market Basket will open soon near the bridge, further aggravating summer traffic.

Don't wait till Memorial Day. Open the bridge now.

Dana Franchitto

South Wellfleet
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Yet another UNhappy customer


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Think this is gridlock? We ain`t seen nothin` yet

Post  mermaid on Thu May 17, 2012 6:31 am

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Think this is gridlock? We ain't seen nothin' yet

May 17, 2012
Sean Gonsalves' May 15 column, "Traffic solutions slowed by gridlock," informed us of how "the powers that be" are aware of traffic-clogging problems and are having meetings about this annoying problem for Cape Codders and visitors as well.

However, he might have mentioned what a traffic problem we would have if there were a catastrophe at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Most roads leading to the bridges would be clogged as folks attempted to flee off the Cape. There would be traffic backup for days as folks' only option for evacuation would be to cross the bridges going into the poisoned air. In addition, roads on the other side of the bridges would be clogged. Yes, a real gridlock.

Joyce A. Johnson

Falmouth


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Re: Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

Post  mermaid on Thu May 17, 2012 6:35 am

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Lack of coordination on bridge work is a disgrace

May 17, 2012One thing has become evident during the endless Sagamore bridge repair work, and that is Cape legislators, local officials and chambers of commerce have absolutely no clout.

The Army Corps of Engineers says here's what we're going to do, live with it, and that's final.

On Mother's Day no work was being done, yet two lanes remained closed because of idle equipment. Traffic was absolute gridlock getting off-Cape. The next day the work zone switched to the opposite side of the bridge, so the excuse that the equipment couldn't be off the bridge Sunday was a lie. It had to be repositioned Monday anyway.

The lack of cooperation and planning between all parties involved in these never-ending bridge projects is disgraceful.

Ronald B. Held

East Sandwich
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Something must be done to ease Sagamore traffic

Post  mermaid on Thu May 17, 2012 6:46 am

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Something must be done to ease Sagamore traffic

May 17, 2012The long delays to go over the Sagamore Bridge going west are an embarrassment.

I am no traffic engineer, but I am sure there are ways to get the traffic over the bridge in a more efficient manner.

I suggest the following:

Do not let any westbound traffic enter Route 6 at Exit 1. It appears the stop-and-go traffic and the big backups are caused by that traffic. All traffic on Route 6A would be detoured to the Bourne Bridge; if people don't like it, they can use Route 6. Thus, once the traffic has narrowed from two lanes to one before the bridge, there would be nothing to slow it down before it got to the bridge; now the entering traffic slows the Route 6 traffic to a stop or almost stop.

If this is too severe a solution then:


•Detour the traffic during the heavy times of the day only. Or
•Set up a traffic control light that would allow traffic from Exit 1 to merge in only every 10 to 20 seconds, thus allowing the Route 6 traffic to not be stopped, as it is currently.

Something must be done. Two-hour delays are not fair to residents, visitors or commuters.

Steve Patzman

Harwich Port
_______________________________________
I thank the Powers that Be I do not have to go over the bridge everyday for one reason or another. For the ones that do? smiley-angry021


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Cape drivers' rights touted

Post  mermaid on Sat May 19, 2012 2:22 pm

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Cape drivers' rights touted

Cape Cod Times/Merrily CassidyBy Patrick Cassidy
pcassidy@capecodonline.com

May 19, 2012Work on the Sagamore Bridge and the traffic nightmare it causes may soon be in the rearview mirror, but businesses, lawmakers and local transportation officials are demanding a better plan to reduce congestion from similar projects down the road.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been repairing steel on the nearly 80-year-old bridge since late March, with the four-lane span reduced to one lane in each direction for much of that time. The window for the work is limited by winter weather and a prohibition on major road construction projects on the Cape during the summer.

Cape Cod Road and Bridge Work Bill of Rights
Report all planned projects at least six months in advance to key agencies on Cape Cod.


Develop formal relationships between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Transportation and major Cape Cod media outlets to ensure that all work and impacts are reported clearly to the public.Make electronic communications available, including iCones and other technology that can provide real-time traffic information, including through the use of message boards during construction.

Include contractor allowances for night work, incentives for the use of new technologies and creative approaches. Include penalties for missed deadlines.

Require contractors to remove barriers in case of consistent traffic delays of more than 12 minutes and when no work is planned.

Hold regular meetings between the Army Corps, state transportation officials and the Canal Area Transportation Task Force to coordinate schedules for road projects.

Convene working group of transportation experts to determine appropriate lane closure protocol based on anticipated traffic volumes.

Establish universally accepted list of blackout dates of lane closures on the bridges and Route 6.
Source: Chamber of Commerce

With improving weather and increased traffic, however, there has been an outpouring of anger from frustrated travelers and local businesses confronting gridlock caused by the work.

"What happened last weekend was just devastating," said Suzanne Bilodeau, whose family owns the Sagamore Inn, a mile from the bridge.

Major traffic delays on Mother's Day weekend tied up local roadways and hurt business, Bilodeau said. She estimated her inn lost thousands of dollars in business over the busy weekend from potential customers turned off by the traffic.

"How do we make that up? How do we make up what happened last year?" she said. "It doesn't seem like the corps even cares."

Bilodeau has been dealing with traffic related to work on the nearby bridge for four years but has finally reached her breaking point, she said.

Some state lawmakers feel the same.
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use link above to read the rest
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Finally some high-end complaints. Lets sit back & see how much difference it`ll make. bounce
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Smooth sailing over Sagamore

Post  mermaid on Mon May 21, 2012 7:03 am

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May 21, 2012SAGAMORE — Drivers on Route 6 west were pleasantly surprised Sunday morning — all four lanes on the Sagamore Bridge were open and they're going to stay that way through the summer.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced Saturday night that steel repairs on the Sagamore were completed and that all four lanes were opened as of 6 p.m. and will remain open through Labor Day. Work is expected to resume on the bridge in the fall.

The bridge work has caused gridlock at times on both sides of the canal, leaving drivers and merchants frustrated by the long delays. On Friday, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce issued a "Cape Cod Road and Bridge Work Bill of Rights" demanding "a long-term, permanent solution to canal bridge access" and listing a series of expectations for future road and bridge projects on the Cape.

The Corps uses Facebook at facebook.com/CorpsNew England and Twitter at twitter.com/CorpsNewEngland to give updates on the bridge work.

There will be times through the fall of 2012 that a one-day lane restriction will be required to complete the remaining repairs. Message boards and fixed signage will keep motorists advised of work efforts and travel restrictions, according to the Facebook page.
_______________________________


-This is good news..!

-However those of us who don`t tweet or have facebook in our lives, (thank Gawd)will be left to learn of more repairs the old-fashioned way.

-Correction- This series of articles should have been in the Masschusetts section! not Cape Cod
- as Cape Cod and the other side of the bridge are all in Ma. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by mermaid on Mon May 21, 2012 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : twisted words)
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Re: Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

Post  Betep on Mon May 21, 2012 12:30 pm

Quoth Mermaid:
"-Correction- This series of articles should have been in the Masschusetts section! not Cape Cod
- as Cape Cod and the other side of the bridge are all in Ma"

Technically, both sides are considered "on Cape Cod".
Wareham thinks itself to be "part of Cape Cod". Semantics.

I don't miss the daily drive over the bridge. 6:20 am, going fast I'd get negative-G.
I guess it's like screaming children. You get used to it, but you don't miss it.

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Re: Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

Post  Betep on Sun May 27, 2012 1:45 pm

A poll from The Register:

Poll
Were you inconvenienced by the recent repair work at the Sagamore Bridge?
Thank you for your vote.

Yes. It was very disruptive to my travel plans 0%
No. I avoided the worst of it 0%
It was inconvenient, but the work has to be done 0%
Why can't they find a less disruptive way to do repairs? 100%
Total votes: 3 silent

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Re: Feds respond to Sagamore traffic mess

Post  mermaid on Mon May 28, 2012 5:55 am

Betep wrote:Quoth Mermaid:
"-Correction- This series of articles should have been in the Masschusetts section! not Cape Cod
- as Cape Cod and the other side of the bridge are all in Ma"

Technically, both sides are considered "on Cape Cod".
Wareham thinks itself to be "part of Cape Cod". Semantics.

I don't miss the daily drive over the bridge. 6:20 am, going fast I'd get negative-G.
I guess it's like screaming children. You get used to it, but you don't miss it.

`Technically` Wareham thinketh wrong. Rolling Eyes
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