Senator Markey Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Cape Cod Canal Bridges

Federal, state, and local officials met to discuss a joint funding solution for replacing the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges...
Stakeholders' meeting in Boston Friday concerning funding for replacement of canal bridges. (Courtesy of Senator Ed Markey)

Boston – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today hosted a meeting with the offices of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Bill Keating to discuss the Cape Cod Canal Bridges with leaders from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Cape Cod’s state house delegation. The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges connect the nearly 250,000 residents on the Cape and Islands to the rest of Massachusetts, and must serve as a critical evacuation route in the event of an emergency.

Senator Markey convened the stakeholders to discuss a recent draft report by the USACE, in which the agency concluded that the 84-year old Bourne and Sagamore bridges are structurally deficient and in desperate need of replacement. The federal, state, and local officials met to begin collaborating on a joint funding solution to replace the Cape Cod Bridges as soon as possible, which will cost more than $1 billion.

“Replacing the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in Cape Cod will be one of Massachusetts’s most important and pressing infrastructure projects,” said Senator Markey, member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Working to identify and secure funding for the project will be my top priority. We will need to increase the annual budget of each agency involved, as well as create new grant programs that can benefit the Canal Bridges. But replacing the Bourne and Sagamore will require a joint funding solution with commitments from both the federal and state governments. I thank Senator Warren, Congressman Keating, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, the Army Corps, Federal Highways, and Cape Cod’s local elected officials for their commitment to this project.”

“Investing in infrastructure projects like the one to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges—which serve as crucial evacuation routes for the Cape and Islands—is essential to our public safety and economic development,” said Senator Warren. “I’m pleased that our federal, state, and local leaders are coming together to help move this important project forward.”

“The Corps of Engineers looks forward to working with the Massachusetts delegation and other stakeholders and partners in the future of the Cape Cod Canal highway bridges,” said Col. William Conde, District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District.

“The Federal Highway Administration’s role is to provide technical assistance on bridge design, cost estimation, and planning,” said Jeffrey McEwen, Division Administrator for Massachusetts, Federal Highway Administration. We have a long history of working with our State and Federal partners in this capacity and look forward to providing ongoing technical support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Massachusetts Department of Transportation.”

The following individuals attended Senator Markey’s meeting on the Cape Cod Canal bridges: representatives from the offices of State Senator Julian Cyr, State Representative Sarah Peake, State Representative Dylan Fernandes, State Representative Will Crocker, and State Representative David Vieira; Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of MassDOT; Scott Bosworth, Chief Strategy Officer of MassDOT; David Leach, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Project Planning and Review of USACE; Tom Smith, Chief of the Operations & Regulatory Division of USACE; Jeffrey McEwen, Division Administrator for Massachusetts of FHWA, Timothy Hess, Associate Administrator for Federal Lands at FHWA; Colonel William Conde, Commander and District Engineer for the New England District of USACE; Scott Acone, Deputy District Engineer for the New England District of USACE; Karen Baker, Regional Programs Director for the North Atlantic Division of USACE; Jonathan Gulliver, Highway Administrator for MassDOT, Jon Lenicheck, Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations for Mass DOT; and Alex Etchen, Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs for FHWA.

Senator Markey, Senator Warren, and Rep. Keating have long supported various efforts to strengthen the Cape Cod 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.

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.