$139M set for Cape Transportation Projects

A Cape Cod Times article written on May 15th discusses finances for Cape transportation projects and State Rep. William Crocker stressing the importance of having the redesign of the Route 28 and Yarmouth Road intersection, as it would improve local traffic, navigation for emergency vehicles, and act as a gateway for tourists.

$139M set for Cape Transportation Projects

Cape Cod Times

Geoff Spillane

May 15, 2017

HYANNIS — More road and infrastructure projects may not be what local drivers want to hear about these days, but with an eye toward future improvements and past temporary traffic delays state transportation officials came to Cape Cod to talk about just that Monday night.

The Hyannis Transportation Center was the first stop on the Massachusetts Department of Tranportation’s public meeting tour to solicit input for a statewide, $17.4 billion, five-year capital investment plan.

While the lion’s share of funding outlined in the 50-page plan is headed to the greater Boston area, the Cape and islands haven’t been forgotten. During the next five years, the Cape is slated for nearly $139 million worth of transportation projects.

Monday’s 30-minute meeting drew approximately 20 people - primarily local officials and transportation professionals - and discussions focused on regional priorities on the recommended 2018 to 2022 project roster.

Steven Woelfel, deputy director of strategic planning for the state transportation agency, said project selection is based on three criteria: reliability or priority for maintenance and repair; modernization; and expansion of services.

Among local projects highlighted by Woelfel was a major $9.3 million intersection improvement at Route 28 and Yarmouth Road in Hyannis, a $9.5 million corridor upgrade along Route 151 in Mashpee, $2.5 million in reliability and modernization improvements to the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and technical and operational upgrades for the South Yarmouth branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

A $5.6 million upgrade of Belmont Circle in Buzzards Bay on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal is on tap for fiscal year 2020. In 2022, an $11.8 million repaving project for Route 6 in Barnstable is scheduled, as is a $7.6 million extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

In addition, Barnstable Municipal Airport will receive $37 million in improvements, while airports in Provincetown, Chatham and Falmouth are in line for a total of nearly $22 million in upgrades during the five-year period.

State Rep. William Crocker, R-Centerville, stressed the importance of having the redesign of the Route 28 and Yarmouth Road intersection started as scheduled in 2018. As recently as March, there was concern the project could be delayed due to staffing, land acquisition and utility infrastructure.

“Traffic has increased there dramatically, and it backs up in all four directions,” Crocker said. “On a rainy day in July it’s difficult to navigate for personal and emergency vehicles.”

In addition to the intersection being the main artery to Cape Cod Hospital from Route 6, it’s a gateway for visitors traveling into Hyannis, Crocker said.

“I want to urge you to get this fully funded,” he said.

Patrick Johnson, chief of staff to state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, presented a letter to be delivered to Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack thanking her for including the intersection in the plan. The letter was signed by Cyr, Crocker and state Rep. Timothy Whelan, R-Brewster.

Johnson also asked state transportation officials to consider a $2 million project to replace parapets – or barrier walls – on the overpass bridges along Route 6 from Bourne to Barnstable.

“On some of the bridges, the parapets are crumbling, and above Exit 5 there are none,” said Johnson, arguing that the project would meet all three of the state’s criteria. “Appearances matter for a region that depends on tourism.”

Read the article here.