Announcement follows Markey-led letter (PDF) urging the Corps to put forth a major budget request for the 2024 fiscal year
Washington (March 9, 2023) –Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09) today celebrated their successful effort to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to request significant funds in its fiscal 2024 budget to support replacing the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. In February, Senator Markey led the Massachusetts delegation in a letter to Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works at the Army Corps, and Shalanda Young, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, urging the Corps to request hundreds of millions of dollars in its fiscal 2024 budget to replace the Cape Cod Bridges.
“I applaud the Army Corps for requesting significant funding in its 2024 budget to replace the Cape Cod Bridges. This budget request demonstrates that the Army Corps is serious about replacing these outdated bridges and sends a clear signal that the Biden administration is committed to this project,” said Senator Markey. “Thanks to ongoing collaboration among federal, state, and local partners and renewed commitment by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Army Corps, the Bridges project is entering a promising new phase. I am proud of this successful push with my colleagues Senator Warren and Congressman Keating to secure this budget request and am committed to fighting to ensure that Congress follows through on this request and appropriates critical federal funds for this project.”
“I've been working hard to secure federal funding to replace the Cape Cod bridges and this initial $350 million, toward a commitment of $600 million, is a critical down payment in President Biden's budget,” said Senator Warren. “The Biden administration is demonstrating their commitment to this vital project, and I'll continue coordinating with local, state and federal partners on this much-needed investment for Massachusetts.”
“The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges are a critical lifeline for the Cape and Islands – that’s the message my colleagues and I have delivered to the White House and President Biden personally, and today’s investment of $350 million towards the project clearly demonstrates that the White House understands this critical issue and is ready to make a down payment on replacing these federal assets,” said Congressman Keating. “We are still in the early stages of this project, but I have been clear from the start that these bridges will be funded. The Cape Cod Canal bridges will be replaced, and I look forward to continuing to partner with the federal delegation and our federal, state, and local partners to ensure we continue moving forward.”
In 2020, the Corps released its report determining that rehabilitation efforts would be more costly and burdensome for the Corps and the Cape’s residents and visitors, and ultimately concluded that constructing new bridges would better improve travel, safety, and accessibility to and from the Cape. Following this conclusion, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021 to provide the Corps with more than $17 billion and more than $9 billion in formula funds for Massachusetts. Senators Markey and Warren and Representative Keating then convened a meeting in January 2022 with leaders from the Corps, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to detail efforts to replace the Bridges, and again in April 2022 with MassDOT and the Corps. In recent years, Senators Markey and Warren have led the Massachusetts congressional delegation in writing directly to the Department of Transportation to stress their support of the Corps and MassDOT’s applications for federal grants, most recently in May and August of last year. The lawmakers’ shared efforts most recently culminated in a $1.6 million planning grant for the project, awarded in January. This January, Senators Markey and Warren and Representative Keating sent a letter to Assistant Secretary Connor and Director Young urging the Corp to provide significant funds to replace the Cape Cod Bridges. The lawmakers also sent a separate letter to Jamey Tesler, then-Secretary of MassDOT, requesting the department coordinate closely with the Corp and take all necessary steps to submit a more competitive federal grant application in the Fiscal Year 2023.