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Five Additional Cape Cod Towns to Undergo Low-lying Roads Assessment

For Immediate Release (September 27, 2022) – Continuing an effort to shore up the region’s roads most susceptible to the impacts of climate change, the Cape Cod Commission will soon begin work with five more Cape Cod towns to examine vulnerabilities in the roadway network and identify solutions.

Low-lying roads are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Flooding or erosion can potentially restrict access to critical services and essential areas. Seeking solutions to address these critical roadway segments is a priority identified through Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness plans, hazard mitigation planning, and the Climate Action Plan stakeholder process.

The towns of Chatham, Harwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Provincetown will share a $205,479 action grant awarded through the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program to assess low-lying roads in each community and develop solutions. This funding is part of $32.8 million in MVP Program grants awarded to Massachusetts cities and towns in late August through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

The grant program, launched in 2017, provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. With this latest award, all fifteen Cape Cod towns will have participated in the low-lying roads project.

“Chatham is very pleased to be included, along with our neighboring communities, in the latest round of MVP grants to assess vulnerabilities of roadways to storm surge and sea level rise,” said Chatham Town Manager Jill Goldsmith. “In addition to identifying which roads are most susceptible to flooding, the effort will also assist the Town to prioritize which roads should be addressed first based on overall community impacts.”

The Cape Cod Commission and a consultant will work with each town 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. The project employs state-of-the-art modeling and community engagement to identify and prioritize low-lying roads to target for coastal resiliency action.

“Addressing our region’s network of vulnerable roadways is a critical component of the Climate Action Plan,” said Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director Erin Perry. “With this grant, all 15 towns will be engaged in the low-lying roads project, which will position them to seek resources for implementation of projects that boost local and regional climate resilience.”

Public workshops will provide an understanding of coastal climate hazards, review flood projections and impacts on roadways under future scenarios and discuss priority vulnerable low-lying roads or other transportation infrastructure. Then, with the help of flood modeling, community members and staff will work together to prioritize low-lying roads for action.

Each town will receive three conceptual designs and estimated costs for alternative solutions for two roadway segments. The designs delivered should provide communities with enough information to choose a solution and seek funding for implementation.

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