Washington (February 14, 2020) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congressman William Keating are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to recommit to a proposal to replace the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges after it announced its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) and President Trump unveiled his budget request for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021), neither of which contained any funding to repair or replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“We are greatly disturbed by this omission of funds for the Cape Cod Canal Bridges and demand answers as to how the USACE plans to finance the replacement of such vital bridges that have long outlived their usefulness,” write the lawmakers in their letter. “We are concerned that this decision reflects a failure to understand the urgency of the situation for the Cape & Islands. The residents of this region cannot wait multiple years for this project to begin.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Although the USACE’s Work Plan allocated $11.9 million to ongoing operations and maintenance in the Cape Cod Canal Federal Navigation Project, the USACE failed to allocate any additional funding for commencing work on either repairing or replacing the Canal Bridges in 2020. The President’s Budget requested $12.4 million for ongoing operations and maintenance at the Canal, but similarly failed to include any funding request for a repair or replacement project in 2021.
The USACE’s New England District recently concluded in its draft “Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report” that the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges are structurally deficient and in desperate need of replacement. The New England District further determined that a full replacement of both bridges is more cost-effective than repairing and rehabilitating the existing structures. The Massachusetts lawmakers previously applauded this recommendation and called on the USACE’s national headquarters to adopt the New England District’s plan. Senators Markey and Warren, and Rep. Keating also previously urgedthe USACE to allocate appropriate funding in its FY 2020 Work Plan to get this project started immediately after the final plan of action is decided.