Bourne Bridge

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Bourne Bridge
Cape Cod Canal - Bourne Bridge.jpg
Cape Cod Canal – Bourne Bridge
Coordinates41°44′51.73″N 70°35′22.31″W / 41.7477028°N 70.5895306°W / 41.7477028; -70.5895306Coordinates: 41°44′51.73″N 70°35′22.31″W / 41.7477028°N 70.5895306°W / 41.7477028; -70.5895306
Carries4 lanes of Route 28
CrossesCape Cod Canal
LocaleBourne, Massachusetts (Buzzards Bay-Cape Cod)
Maintained byUnited States Army Corps of Engineers
DesignArch bridge with suspended deck
Total length2,384 ft (727 m)
Width45 ft (14 m)
Height274 ft (83.5152 m)
Longest span616 ft (188 m)
Clearance below135 ft (41 m)
Construction start1933
OpenedJune 22, 1935
Bourne Bridge is located in Massachusetts
Bourne Bridge
Location in Massachusetts

The Bourne Bridge in Bourne, Massachusetts carries Route 28 across the Cape Cod Canal, connecting Cape Cod with the rest of Massachusetts. It won the American Institute of Steel Construction's Class "A" Award of Merit as the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" in 1934.[1] Most traffic approaching from the west follows Massachusetts Route 25 which ends at the interchange with US 6 and Route 28 just north of the bridge. The highway provides freeway connections from Interstate 495 and Interstate 195.

There is a six-foot wide[2] sidewalk for pedestrian and bicycle access on the west side of the bridge. The sidewalk is slightly raised, but there is no fence or barrier between it and car traffic, and cyclists are recommended to walk their bicycle.[3] The bridge road is plowed in winter, although the sidewalk is sometimes unplowed and unpassable.[4] Bridges to the Cape are sometimes closed for safety during high winds.[5]


The bridge and its sibling the Sagamore Bridge were constructed beginning in 1933 by the Public Works Administration for the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which operates both the bridges and the canal. Each bridge carries four lanes of traffic over a 616-foot (188 m) main span, with a 135-foot (41 m) ship clearance. Construction ended in early 1935 and the bridge opened on June 22, 1935. The approaches to the main span of the Bourne Bridge are considerably longer than those of the Sagamore Bridge due to the topography of the land. The bridge replaces an earlier 1911 drawbridge, and the original drawbridge's approaches are still accessible. The current structure was built to accommodate the widening of the canal.

The bridge commences at a major traffic circle on the Cape Cod end. On the mainland side, New York Central Tugboat 16 sat on dry land at the approach to the bridge from the rotary from 1982 to 2006, serving as a local attraction.[6]

In October 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended replacing the bridge with a wider bridge with six travel lanes, bike and pedestrian paths, shoulders, and a median. The recommendation said that replacement was more cost-effective than upgrading the existing bridge in order to reduce long summertime backups.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 50th Anniversary Cape Cod Canal Bridges, Bourne, Massachusetts 1935–1985. Waltham, Massachusetts: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1985. p. 2.
  2. ^ "Sagamore And Bourne Bridge Statistics". The Enterprise. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. ^ Sullivan, John (20 September 2015). "Coffeeneuring the Cape Cod Canal. Both Sides End to End and Crossing Both Bridges". A Midnight Rider. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  4. ^ Burke, Kevin (19 January 2017). "Army Corps: No Snow Clearing From Bridge Sidewalks". The Bourne Enterprise. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Bourne, Sagamore bridges may close if Hurricane Sandy brings sustained winds of 70 mph". Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Remembering New York Central #16". Tug Boat Enthusiasts Society of the Americas. 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Knapschaefer, Jonanna (October 14, 2019). "Corps Call for $1-Billion Cape Cod Bridge Replacements". Engineering News Record. p. 20.

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