The Town of Sandwich is working with great care and communication on our Sandwich Boardwalk Reconstruction project. We understand the importance of this community centerpiece and want to ensure we are all working together to repair and protect our asset for the future with a coastal resiliency.
Please find common FAQ's on the Boardwalk project below as well as relevant resources, documents and information in the tab on the right above. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
The Boardwalk Over Time...
View a PDF compilation of the Boardwalk over time through storms: Boardwalk Photographic Timeline (GEI)
Boardwalk Informational Posters
- 1 Alternate Lower Elevation Option with Arch and Timber Rails (August 2021)
- 2 Alternate Lower Elevation Option with Arch and Wire Mesh Rails (August 2021)
- 3 Revised Elevation 12 with No Arch and Timber Rails (August 2021)
- 4 Schematic Cross Sections with Various Deck Elevations (September 2021)
- 5 Plan View (July 2021)
- 6 Elevation Views with No Arch and Rail Options (January 2021)
- 7 Boardwalk King Tide 2020_11-16
Related Documents over the Years
- Example Railing with Wire Mesh Infill - Plymouth Harbor
- Town to MHC - Historic Eligibility Determination - 3.9.21
- MHC 2021_04-13 Letter
- Boardwalk Supplemental Plan and Elevation July 2021
- GEI Presentation to HDC 2021_07-14
- Boardwalk Project Flyer 2021_06-23
- GEI_Sandwich Boardwalk Restoration 2021-04-15
- 04-12-2018 MEM Sandwich Boardwalk Immediate Repairs
- 021218 Inspection Report
- GEI Boardwalk Presentation 2019_09-12
- GEI Boardwalk Report
- Boardwalk 3D Visualization 2019-11-19
- GEI_Sandwich Boardwalk Restoration 111819
- Concept Figures
- Boardwalk Images
- Boardwalk Design Comments 09 16 2021
The Town of Sandwich and Melinda Gallant, Host of Cape Conversations, has produced supplemental video PSA's to help keep everyone informed. View and learn more on our Sandwich Boardwalk Informational PSA's Page
SANDWICH BOARDWALK, POSTER SESSION AND VIEWING
Thursday, September 9th
5:30 PM – 7:00PM
Please join us for a BOARDWALK, POSTER SESSION AND VIEWING on Thursday, September 9th from 5:30 PM – 7:00PM in the Auditorium at Town Hall. The Board of Selectmen is seeking your feedback on the design elevation, arch profile and the infill material for rails. Comments are invited in writing to email@example.com. Find more information about the session here. View all Boardwalk Informational Posters by clicking on the RESOURCES TAB in the section above.
- Why Now?
- Can We Still Jump Off?
- Where Will It Be?
- How Tall and Why?
- What about the Planks?
- Why So Many Rails?
- Isn't the Boardwalk Historic?
- What is Next?
The beams, posts, bracing and metal fasteners have exceeded their useful life. The Boardwalk is deteriorating rapidly and could/has quickly become a safety risk. Storms continue to take a heavy toll on the structure. The Town continues to inspect and repair the Boardwalk, but it must be replaced. Find more images of the Boardwalk here and find a 2018 conditions report finding the Boardwalk in satisfactory to fair condition here.
Will I be able to jump from the reconstructed Boardwalk?
Yes, the Town will sustain the current use of the Boardwalk. Ladders and platform similar to existing will be part of the new Boardwalk.
How high will the peak of the bridge be?
As currently proposed, the Mill Creek footbridge will be raised up by 2-3 feet. That will make the top of the deck about the same height, (actually slightly lower than) the top of the railing that is there today.
Will there be an area provided for folks to jump?
Yes, just like exists today, there will be longer planks that will extend out beyond the railing over Mill Creek by a couple of feet on both sides. There will be ladders on one side just like exist today but a bit taller because the new footbridge will be 2-3 feet higher as mentioned above.
They might say there is jumping but how will that be implemented without being dangerous?
With the current bridge, some people jump from the top of the existing railing. The new bridge deck will be just about the same height as the existing railing, just slightly lower. Jumps are frequently made from the top of the existing railing as can be seen in the photo below. For liability reasons, the Town cannot promote jumping not can it guarantee safety. But, I know that everyone involved in the rebuilding effort understands that jumping is very important to many members of the community and collectively we want to make sure that this can continue with the new design.
Where will it be?
The new Boardwalk will be placed in the exact same location as the current Boardwalk, just slightly wider. You can view the site plan here.
How tall will it be and why?
The deck height will be 4’ to 5’ taller than it is now. The increased height is necessary to permit the structure in tidal area over the salt marsh, to meet storm surge standards & to accommodate a 6’ wide walkway. (An increase of 1’ in width)
The Boardwalk was designed with bridge profile similar to the arch similar to the arch at Mill Creek today. This arched profile, and the buttress features of the bridge were added as a result of community feedback. Find more information about the Boardwalk Project here.
What about the Planks?
The Town will work with the general contractor awarded the project to return existing planks and to make new planks available at cost.
Why so many rails?
Guardrails are required by code. The existing guardrail is 36” tall; the new rail will be 6” higher as required by code. The building code also requires a rail system that prevents a sphere of 4” from passing through, The design shows the minimum width between rails that is allowed by code.
There are several rail design options. Board of Selectmen recommended timber rails because wood has been used on the Boardwalk since its origination in 1875, is more cost effective to maintain, and is same design and currently used at the lookout at Town Neck beach. You can find a graphic visualization here.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Sandwich Historic Commission and the Sandwich Historic Committee have found that the since the Boardwalk has been fully repaired, replaced, and changed from its was original construction in 1875 it is not an example of a historically significant structure. You can read the Massachusetts Historical Commission letter here. The Boardwalk is iconic and has significant value as a transit route from the village to Town Neck Beach which should be maintained. Find more information about the important cultural history of the Boardwalk here.
Environmental, regulations, Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and ADA regulations establish standards to which the reconstructed Boardwalk must be built. These are fairly rigid with little flexibility. There are no responsible alternatives to meeting these regulations. If the Boardwalk is destroyed by decay or storm surge, we would still have to meet these regulations to repair damage. Learn more about Sandwich’s approach to designing for climate vulnerability.
The Town will hold a community forum in late August to review the elements of the design. In preparation for the forum the Town is constructing scale mock up sections of railing, a mesh infill rail, a wood rail and a steel cable section. We will make these available for public viewing and will accept public comments about materials preferences. A series of informational videos will be released later this month and will address all elements of the Boardwalk design including Existing Conditions, History and Importance, Accessibility, Materials and Rails, Height and Elevation and Schedule for Construction. Please watch for more information on www.sandwichmass.org.
Looking for more information?
The Sandwich Boardwalk Reconstruction Project Team is made up of many members across departments, committees, partners and the community. Please direct your questions to the Engineering Department.