MassDOT and USACE Application Denied for Federal Funding to Replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges
Grant application submission to Bridge Investment Program sought competitive, discretionary funding for replacement of federally owned bridges
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) grant application, requesting $1.882 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) first round of the Bridge Investment Program Grants, to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges has been denied. The application to this grant program was filed in August 2022 for funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and sought funding which represents 47 percent of the estimated $3,976,000,000 total project cost for design and construction activities. The USACE constructed, operates and maintains the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and the two bridges are a federally-owned asset.
The BIL competitive Bridge Investment Program awarded $2.1 billion in federal funding. The applications were open to all 50 states and U.S. Territories and the USACE applied for $1.882 billion of that $2.36 billion. Grants announced today will be funding four projects, just one in New England, in Connecticut. Please visit this website for information: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2.1 Billion to Improve Four Nationally Significant Bridges Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s First Large Bridge Grants | US Department of Transportation
“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,” said MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard. “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 USACE have been actively working together on plans to replace the federally-owned Bourne and Sagamore Bridges with MassDOT committed to providing the USACE the technical expertise necessary. 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 $3.976 billion and would replace both bridges and improve the adjoining roadway network.
Over the past several years, MassDOT has taken active steps toward improvement projects for Commonwealth-owned assets along the Cape Cod Canal:
In 2017: MassDOT established a Cape Cod Bridges working group represented by MassDOT, USACE, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Eastern Federal Lands to provide leadership direction on project scope, entitlements, community outreach, delivery methods, funding, financing, and legislation.
October 2019: MassDOT finalized and published the Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study, recommending that improvements be made to multimodal connectivity and reliability across the Canal.
March 2020: USACE finalized and published its Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report (MRER) and Environmental Assessment (EA) on the current state of repair and the transportation needs of the region.
April 2020: The USACE and Assistant Secretary of the Amy for Civil Works officially announced their recommendation to replace the current Sagamore and Bourne bridges.
July 2020: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between MassDOT and the USACE.
June 2021: Public process commences with public information meetings.
To show continued leadership and commitment, the Commonwealth allocated $350 million in the 2021 Transportation Bond bill to support delivery of the new Cape Cod Bridges.
Additionally in 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Baker signed, the largest transportation bond bill (“MassTRAC”), which contained substantial bonding authority to match federal discretionary grant awards, including, if necessary, the ability and flexibility to make funds available for the federal bridge replacement project should they be needed.
On behalf of the entire project team, MassDOT prepared federal funding grant requests for the USACE for consideration of funding through the 2022 INFRA, MEGA, and BIP discretionary grant programs.
Current phase of planning, Phase 1:
Data collection - including environmental conditions and traffic patterns.
Public outreach and involvement efforts are underway.
Phase 2: Based on public input, MassDOT will develop and refine bridge and roadway options.
For information on the Cape Cod Bridges Program, please visit: The Cape Cod Bridges Program Details | Mass.gov