The Cape Cod Emergency Traffic Plan (CCETP) has been developed to facilitate the egress of a high volume of traffic from Cape Cod in the event of a hurricane, particularly during peak tourist season. Although developed for a hurricane scenario, this ‘All Hazards’ Plan has been designed to be utilized in a number of emergency situations. The plan’s main goals are to ensure the safety of the community in the event of destructive weather or other hazards requiring the orderly but rapid movement of motorists off Cape Cod and the Islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard; and prepare for the temporary sheltering of displaced persons resulting from the evacuation of potential flood areas and motorists unable to exit the Cape due to the closure of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.
It is important to emphasize that this is not an evacuation plan. Rather, it is a traffic management plan that can be used under any circumstance when public safety officials deem it necessary to implement Phase 1 to facilitate the flow of traffic off of the Cape. The plan may be implemented if there is a need for an evacuation for parts of the Cape or when a large number of people elect to leave the Cape, even if there is no evacuation request or order. In a hurricane it is unlikely that there would ever be a need to evacuate the entire Cape. Rather, people in vulnerable low lying areas may be asked to evacuate to safer, higher ground areas on the Cape, including to nearby regional or local public shelters.
This plan was initiated following Hurricane Edouard, which approached Cape Cod on Labor Day 1996. Within hours of the Governor’s Declaration of a State of Emergency, a 6-8 hour backup, stretching an estimated 40 miles occurred from the Sagamore Bridge to the Orleans Rotary along Route 6, due in large part to the challenges presented by the highway’s rotaries and on-ramps. The goal of the Plan is to eliminate the causes of congestion in the areas of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, as well as on Routes 6 and 28, the main arteries leading to them. Free flowing off-Cape traffic is the primary concern of the Plan.
The concept of the CCETP is based upon the need to eliminate the causes of congestion and keep traffic flowing in the area of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and the main arteries leading up to them, Routes 6 & 28. Phase 1 begins implementation of the actual detours and road restrictions that must take place in order to reduce traffic delays.
Phase 2 is activated when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in discussion with Massachusetts State Police (MSP), Mass DOT, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), decide that current or projected winds and weather in the vicinity of the bridges is not safe for travel. Phase 2 provides for temporary shelters on the Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) at Camp Edwards (formerly Massachusetts Military Reservation or MMR) to provide motorists with a safe haven when the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges have been closed.
The CCETP has been developed by the Massachusetts State Police and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with numerous agencies: Mass DOT, Mass Department of Public Health, MA Army National Guard, MA Air National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly Massachusetts Military Reservation), US Army Corps of Engineers, American Red Cross, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, Barnstable County Incident Management Team, Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, Bourne and Sandwich Police Departments, Local Emergency Managers and Public Safety Officials from across the Cape, the Steamship Authority, the National Weather Service, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod CERT, WQRC, and many others.
Full plan: Cape Cod Emergency Traffic Plan file size 1MB
One page map (excerpt from full plan) Cape Cod Traffic Plan Map file size 3MB
Hear MEMA's interview with WQRC 99.9 FM about the Cape Cod Emergency Traffic Plan: Cape Cod Traffic Plan Discussion with WQRC August 2012 AUDIO file size 8MB