The long-awaited reconstruction of the Sandwich Boardwalk is planned to begin the week of Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Construction activity will necessarily impact access to the adjacent beach and recreational areas. We will work with our general contractor ACK Marina and General Contracting (ACK Marine) to limit community impact. During the first week of work, ACK Marine will begin site security and mobilization. Construction fencing will be installed, securing the construction zone, but sustaining full access to Town Neck Beach and the Mill Creek recreation area. You will find an illustration of the construction work zone and access points from the Town Neck Beach Parking Lot. Access to the Mill Creek footbridge will remain accessible from the Boardwalk Road Parking lot until later phases of the project. In the second week of work ACK Marine will begin test drilling for new helical piles. As the project progresses we will provide updates on any changes to site access.
Please keep in mind that this project is subject to weather conditions and natural habitat and updates on the project will be posted to the Sandwich Boardwalk page of the Town’s website. Questions about the project should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
View a PDF compilation of the Boardwalk over time through storms: Boardwalk Photographic Timeline (GEI)
Are you looking for your Boardwalk Plank?
View our list of all planks to navigate a database of all Boardwalk planks prior to the most recent reconstruction efforts, and use the sketch to find the section your engraved board is located. View the sketch of the Boardwalk sections & view our list of the 455 Planks that have been recovered.
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
Alternatively you can download the videos here:
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #1 - Existing Conditions & Project Needs
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #2 - Accessibility
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #3 - Elevation and Resiliency
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #4 - Historical Importance and Project Approach
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #5 - Project Design and Next Steps
- Sandwich Boardwalk PSA #6 - Jumping Off The Boardwalk
Boardwalk Project Files & Information
- Boardwalk construction drawings
- Sandwich Boardwalk Final Design
- Sandwich Boardwalk Final Design Presentation 8.4.2022
- Sandwich Boardwalk Preliminary Design Plans 2021-12-17
- GEI Sandwich Boardwalk Restoration Presentation 2021-12-21
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
- 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.
Preliminary plans have been developed and are available on the Resources Tab found near the top of this page. These will be presented to the Selectmen 12/21/2021. Regulatory permit applications will be submitted to state and federal agencies following the Selectmen’s meeting. Additional information may be found in the materials on the Resources Tab. Please watch for more information on www.sandwichmass.org.
- How can I access Mill Creek Beach? We thank you for your patience and understanding while the Boardwalk is under construction and secured for patron safety. This summer 2023, the only access to Mill Creek Beach is from the beachside of Town Neck Beach, over the last dune stairs, as shown on this illustration. We understand this is an inconvenience to our beachgoers who enjoy the shallows of the creek. The Boardwalk Area is a construction zone. The Town’s general contractor has secured the smallest area from which they can safely operate and provide access to both the Mill Creek Bridge and Mill Creek Beach. When complete, the Boardwalk reconstruction will create a safe, accessible and resilient crossing from Boardwalk Road to Town Neck Beach. We apologize for the impact this season and hope you will enjoy the Boardwalk for many years to come. We encourage you to consider one of our other ocean beaches this year!
- Why can’t you create a walking path along the construction fencing or move the fence to allow access to Mill Creek Beach? The Town’s general contractor has secured the smallest area necessary to safely accommodate equipment and materials in a heavily used recreational area. We cannot safely reduce the work zone. The areas outside of the work zone are shore bird nesting and foraging habitat. Access through these natural resource areas (dunes and marsh habitats) is prohibited. The Boardwalk project obtained multiple local, state, and federal permits and we have an obligation and responsibility to limit environmental impacts. Please do your part and stay out of the shore bird habitat. Thank you!
- Why is the Boardwalk under construction during the summer? Delaying the project beyond this summer to fall 2023 was not an option. Delay would have increased the cost of the project to the taxpayers and put our environmental permits at risk. The general contractor has 365 days to complete the project and the Town could not have guaranteed that the Boardwalk would be complete by summer 2024. We thank you for your patience!
- When and where may I pick up old plank once it is removed from the Boardwalk? Engraved planks will be removed from the Boardwalk in batches as the construction progresses later this summer. More specific information will be broadcast through the Town Website and social media sites as it becomes available. Questions about planks should be directed to email@example.com.
- Can I still use the Mill Creek Bridge? The footbridge and access from the Boardwalk Road parking lot are open for recreational activity. Construction for most of the summer will focus on the areas of the Boardwalk adjacent to Town Neck Beach. Our general contractor will advise the Town when construction activity will limit access to the Mill Creek Bridge, we will advise the community accordingly on this webpage and through our social media sites. It is currently anticipated that this will occur late summer/early fall.
- What about new planks? The Select Board will consider engraving new planks after construction is complete and the one year project warranty expires.
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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.