The Bass River Bridge carries Route 28 over the Bass River between the towns of Yarmouth and Dennis. The first permanent Bass River bridge was built in 1832 and crossed the water at nearby Ferry Street. In 1891 a new bridge was constructed but was replaced again in 1907. Today’s span dates from 1935 and is the fourth in the series of Bass River Bridges. As one of only three crossings of the Bass River, the bridge carries significant traffic during the summer tourist season and provides an important link year-round between the towns east of the river and Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. It has one travel lane in each direction and has only one sidewalk located on its southern side. Though safe for all users, the bridge is reaching the end of its useful lifespan and must be replaced.
Main Street (Route 28) at North Main Street and Old Main Street in Yarmouth, leading to the Bass River Bridge, is functionally deficient. The intersection is ranked high on the Commonwealth’s “High Crash Location” list. In 2016, a Road Safety Audit (RSA) was conducted on the intersection and identified:
- Confusing lane configurations,
- poor traffic signal visibility,
- non-compliant signage,
- no ADA compliance, pedestrian accommodations, or bicycle accommodations, and
- drainage issues.
The intersection of North Main Street and Station Avenue will also be addressed as it intersects with North Main Street at an acute angle and creates poor sight distance. Improvements at these intersections will create more safety and accommodations for all users.
Project Location Aerial Map
Both projects were delayed a few months to ensure the proper combination of a single construction project. The two projects have now been combined into one project. MassDOT and its teams are aware of the unique seasonal traffic challenges associated with construction on Cape Cod and are developing its plan to address impacts to the greatest extent practicable. For this reason, the Bass River bridge will be built one half at a time to continue traffic flows between Yarmouth and Dennis. Combining the two projects will help to minimize construction impacts to the travelling public and surrounding communities.
Bass River Bridge Replacement
The bridge replacement component of the project will address the structural and functional deficiencies of the Bass River Bridge. MassDOT proposes a full replacement of the Bass River Bridge. The proposed project will widen the bridge deck from 49 to 60 feet to include:
- Two travel lanes in each direction,
- a sidewalk on the northern side of the bridge,
- a shared-use path on the southern side of the bridge, and
- new ornamental light fixtures and railings on each side of the bridge.
The new bridge will have higher vertical clearance and fewer piers than the current bridge. The distance between piers will be widened from 18 feet to 54 feet.
When complete, the new bridge will provide safe and comfortable multi-modal access across the Bass River. This project will be completed in coordination with the Intersection Improvements at Main Street (Route 28) at North Main Street and Old Main Street in Yarmouth MA.
Main Streets Intersection Improvement
The intersection improvement component of the project will improve intersection safety and multi-modal accommodations and address drainage issues. The proposed improvements consist of:
- Upgrading all traffic signal equipment,
- modifying traffic signal timing,
- modifying vehicle approach lanes,
- addition of exclusive right turn lane on the Old Main Street approach
- extending exclusive left-turn lanes,
- building bicycle lanes and a shared use path along Main Street (Route 28),
- reconfiguring the Station Avenue at North Main Street intersection
- construction of a new parking lot at the corner of Mill Lane and Main Street
- adjusting pedestrian timings based on MUTCD guidelines, and
- Reconstructing sidewalks in compliance with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) guidelines.