Cyr Disappointed with Lack of Bridge Replacement Funding

HYANNIS – Local legislators are expressing their frustration with a lack of funding for the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in President Trump’s proposed budget.

President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget was released last week. The President’s budget requested $12.4 million for ongoing operations and maintenance at the canal.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Work Plan allocated $11.9 million to ongoing operations and maintenance in the Cape Cod Canal Federal Navigation Project.

The Army Corps of Engineers made a recommendation in October to replace both spans when it released its Draft Major Rehabilitation Report.

In the report, the Corps determined both were “structurally deficient and in desperate need of replacement”.

The report also cited the increase of repair and maintenance work which is costly and causes a significant impact to traffic crossing the canal.

The proposed plan called for building two new bridges with four travel lanes each and 2 additional auxiliary lanes for acceleration and deceleration. Both new bridges would also include appropriate bike and pedestrian access.

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) said it is disappointing that the Trump Administration is not taking action on the Army Corps recommendation to replace the aging canal bridges, which were both constructed in the early 1930s.

“These bridges are the lifeblood of our economy, of how we make our lives on Cape Cod and the Islands,” Cyr said.

Cyr said the bridges need to be replaced.

“It’s disappointing, but it is not surprising,” Cyr said. “The Trump Administration has been all talk on infrastructure and they have literally done nothing.”

Cyr said he does have faith that the federal delegation, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and Congressman William Keating, will fix the current lack of funding.

“The president’s budget is a series of ideas – most of which aren’t going to be realized,” Cyr said. “From a practical matter, this actually probably doesn’t have much bearing on whether or not federal funding is secured.”

Cyr said we need bridges here on Cape Cod and “don’t need those dollars for walls or other follies or activities that are not helping people who make their lives here in the United States.”

Warren, Markey, and Keating sent a letter to the Trump Administration last week expressing their disappointment on the decision.

“We are greatly disturbed by this omission of funds for the Cape Cod Canal Bridges and demand answers as to how the USACE plans to finance the replacement of such vital bridges that have long outlived their usefulness,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter.

“We are concerned that this decision reflects a failure to understand the urgency of the situation for the Cape & Islands. The residents of this region cannot wait multiple years for this project to begin.”

The letter was addressed to Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Rickey James.

The Army Corps accepted public comment on the draft report through November 15, 2019 and several public meetings were held throughout the region.

A final Army Corps report is expected to be submitted to its Washington D.C. headquarters this month.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy