Massachusetts lawmakers support new construction plan, will fight for federal funding
Washington (October 4, 2019) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congressman William R. Keating (MA-09), commended the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its draft “Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report” on the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges in Cape Cod. The Cape Cod Canal Bridges, which connect more than 200,000 residents on the Cape and Islands to the rest of Massachusetts, are eighty years old and are in desperate need of replacement. Senators Markey and Warren, and Rep. Keating praised the progress that the Corps has made with its construction plan on two new bridges and committed to continuing to work for federal funding to support this critical infrastructure project for Massachusetts.
“We can’t allow the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges to remain in disrepair, and the Army Corps of Engineers has developed a comprehensive reconstruction plan for this critical infrastructure,” said Senator Markey. “The Sagamore and Bourne Bridges are vital parts of the Cape’s economy and way of life, and also serve as crucial evacuation routes should an emergency arise. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue obtain all of the funding needed for this essential project.”
“The Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendation to replace the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal is good news for the Cape and Islands, and for communities all across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Warren.“Updating our transportation infrastructure will help us grow our economy while enhancing our public safety, and I’m committed to seeing this important project move forward.”
“I am pleased to see that the Army Corps. of Engineers’ report concludes that the best and most cost effective way to manage the vital transportation link over the Cape Cod Canal is to construct two modern bridges to replace the Bourne and the Sagamore,” said Congressman Keating. “Two new bridges built up to modern standards will improve traffic flow, allow better access to the Cape and Islands in the coming years, and provide vital evacuation routes. Once complete, the new configuration of the bridge, which will include breakdown lanes and room for adequate pedestrian traffic, will reduce the need for future lane restrictions. As a year-round resident of Cape Cod who depends on the Bourne Bridge, I strongly feel that this is the best outcome for our Cape and Islands community and the greater Southeastern region as a whole. Our federal delegation stands together in pursuing funding in Congress for this important project.”
The Massachusetts delegation has supported various efforts to strengthen the Cape Code bridges:
· As part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Senators Markey and Warren secured language directing the Army Corps of Engineers to repair or replace critical evacuation routes, such as the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.
· In May 2019, Senators Markey and Warren, and Rep. Keating, introduced the ESCAPE Act, legislation that dedicates $1 billion of federal resources to expand the capacity and improve the resilience of evacuation routes such as the Sagamore and Bourne bridges.
· In June 2019, Congressman Keating secured $5 million in the House’s Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) Appropriations Bill for the redesign of the bridges in their role as federally designated escape routes.
· In July of 2019, Senator Markey secured both the ESCAPE Act and a $3.265 billion bridge investment program in the highway funding bill passed by the Environment and Public Works Committee, ensuring multiple funding routes are available for replacing the Cape Cod Canal Bridges.