Request for $1.8B in federal funding to replace Bourne and Sagamore Bridges denied, MassDOT says

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grant application requesting $1.8 billion in federal funding to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges has been denied, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

The money would have come from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration first round of the Bridge Investment Program Grants, the agency said.

The application to this grant program was filed in August 2022 for funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It sought funding which represents 47 percent of the estimated $3.9 billion total project cost for design and construction activities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed, operates and maintains the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, which are both federally-owned.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law competitive Bridge Investment Program awarded $2.1 billion in federal funding. Applications were open to all 50 states and U.S. Territories and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers applied for $1.8 billion of that $2.36 billion. Grants announced on Wednesday will be funding four projects, with just one in New England: in Connecticut.

“The Cape Cod Bridges are federal assets, and the responsibility to replace them lies with the USACE and the federal government. The Baker-Polito Administration is disappointed that this latest funding application has been denied,” MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard said in a statement. “Despite these bridges being federal assets, the Administration has spent considerable time, energy and funds to support replacing the bridges, including working with the Legislature to pass significant funding to replace the approaches to the bridges and authorization for Massachusetts to compete for federal grants. MassDOT will continue to pursue every possible avenue to support the USACE’s efforts to secure federal discretionary funds to replace the bridges.”

MassDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been working on plans to replace the federally-owned Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, the statement said.

The two bridges provide the only roadway connection on and off Cape Cod for the 263,000 residents of the Cape and Islands, as well as the 5 million annual visitors.

The project has a total estimated cost of $3.9 billion and would replace both bridges and improve the adjoining roadway network.

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