Cape Cod Commission staff are working with the Towns of Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Dennis, Eastham, Orleans, Sandwich, Wellfleet, Truro, and Yarmouth to examine vulnerabilities in the roadway network and identify solutions. With funding support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, the Commission has contracted with the Woods Hole Group (WHG) to conduct a vulnerability assessment of roadway segments, bridges, and culverts due to flooding from the combined effects of sea level rise and storm surge. WHG will employ the state-of-the-art Massachusetts Coast Flood Risk Model (MC FRM) to identify vulnerable road segments under different sea level rise scenarios and time scales. One output from this work is a projection of the probability and extent of flooding at defined future planning horizons, 2030, 2050, and 2070.
Commission staff and WHG will also work to develop a prioritization framework to help identify the most critical road segments in each community. The framework will incorporate the vulnerability ranking of each road together with a ranking of how critical the road is within the town’s, or the region’s, transportation network. Having identified priority road segments, the team will present the findings at workshops in each town, engaging the community in a conversation about the priorities for adaptation.
The next stage of the project will identify potential adaptation solutions for two road segments in each of the ten participating communities. WHG will propose three potential solutions, ranging from more traditional engineering solutions to green, nature-based approaches, for each of the prioritized road segments. Conceptual plans for each approach will be shared, together with cost estimates for construction, with town staff, and at a second public workshop in the six communities participating through the MVP action grant: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro.
The project kicked-off with town staff in September 2021. Project work for the towns participating through the EDA grant will be complete by March 2022. The work proceeding under the MVP grant will be complete by June 2023.