Senators Warren, Markey, Representative Keating Support Massachusetts’ Application, Urge Biden Administration to Provide Funding to Replace Aging Cape Cod Bridges
“The project will lead to contemporary bridges that vastly improve travel conditions, meet modern safety standards for vehicle and pedestrian travel, and provide vastly improved multimodal options.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey, along with U.S. Representative William Keating (D-Mass.), sent a letter of support to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg supporting Massachusetts’ application and urging DOT to provide funding to the The Cape Cod Bridges Program to replace the vitally important – but aging – Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.
“The Cape Cod Bridges Program will deliver immense social, economic, public safety, and environmental benefits for a nationally significant and iconic region and ultimately resolve an outstanding federal responsibility for the maintenance and safety of the Cape Cod Bridges,” wrote the lawmakers.
The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges remain key assets to the Cape Cod region and economy, with the bridges acting as the sole access point for the 35 million vehicles that cross them annually. They also serve as essential routes for the movement of goods, tourism, and evacuation in case of an emergency. However, the two bridges are nearly 90 years old, functionally obsolete, require increasingly costly maintenance, and need major rehabilitation over the next decade estimated to cost more than $600 million.
“The bridges’ structural deficiencies—a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) responsibility— present an enormous risk to the accessibility and economic stability of the Cape Cod region and a long term financial liability for the federal government,” the lawmakers continued.
“The Cape Cod Bridges Program is a prototypical project that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was designed to fund, and is a key to modernizing Massachusetts’ physical infrastructure to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges of the 21st Century. We are proud to support the Commonwealth’s application for funding,” concluded the lawmakers.
Senator Warren has led efforts to secure funds to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and pressing the federal government to take action to replace these crucial pieces of infrastructure:
- In July 2023, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent letters to 36 Cape Cod community stakeholders, including state elected officials, local elected officials, Tribal leaders, and community organizations, seeking their input on how the aging Bourne and Sagamore Bridges are impacting communities, businesses, and residents on and around Cape Cod. Senator Warren is seeking this information as part of her effort to ensure the federal government lives up to its commitments to replace the bridges.
- In May 2023, Senators Warren and Ed Markey and Representatives Bill Keating, and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, urging him to exercise his authority to support installation resilience in order to provide funding for the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.
- In May 2023, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration, requesting them to expedite feedback from the technical review requested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) of the Cape Cod Canal Bridges project, which seeks to explore the scope, schedule and cost of the Cape Cod Bridges Project.
- In March 2023, at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Warren highlighted her push to secure funding for the Cape Cod Canal Bridges Project.
- In March 2023, Senators Warren and Markey announced and applauded the inclusion of $350 million, toward a commitment of $600 million, in President Biden’s budget for the Bourne and Sagamore bridges.
- In February 2023, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating sent a letter to Jamey L. Tesler, Acting Secretary of MassDOT regarding the need for MassDOT to act quickly to take the necessary steps to obtain funding for the Cape Cod Bridges and to closely coordinate with USACE to submit a more competitive federal grant application in fiscal 2023. The lawmakers also sent letters to Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works at USACE, and Shalanda Young, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, urging the Corps to provide significant funds to replace the bridges.
- In August 2022, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttegieg in support of USACE and the MassDOT application for funding through the FY2022 Bridge Investment Program Funding Opportunity.
- In May 2022, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttegieg in support of the USACE and the MassDOT application for funding in the 2022 Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) program to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.
- In January 2022, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating convened a meeting with leaders from the Corps, 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 November 2021, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide the Corps with a more than $11 billion increase in funding specifically for new construction projects and more than $9 billion in formula funds for Massachusetts
- In April 2020, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating commended USACE for its final “Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report” on the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in Cape Cod.
- In February 2020, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating called on USACE to recommit to an earlier recommendation to replace the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.
- In December 2019, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating sent a letter to the two top officials in USACE, calling on them to adopt the recommendation of the USACE’s New England District and replace both Cape Cod Canal Bridges.
- In October 2019, as part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Senators Warren and Markey secured language directing USACE to repair or replace critical evacuation routes, such as the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.
- Also in October 2019, Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Keating, commended USACE for its draft “Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report” on the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges in Cape Cod.
- In May 2019, Senators Markey and Warren, and Representative Keating, introduced the Enhancing the Strength and Capacity of America’s Primary Evacuation Routes (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.
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