Funding Secured For Cape Cod Transportation Improvements

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts State Senate has passed legislation that will jumpstart investment in transportation infrastructure and make the state’s transportation system more reliable and accessible to residents.

The bill includes important provisions relative to state infrastructure approaching the Sagamore and Bourne bridges, and park and ride capacity on Cape Cod.

Plymouth and Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran filed an amendment to the bill, which provides $350 million in funding for state road construction, rotary, and exit changes approaching the new Bourne and Sagamore bridges.

The amendment was adopted by the State Senate by a unanimous vote.

The amendment is separate from the funding for the actual replacement of the bridges, which will come from federal funds.

“I rise today in support of an amendment to provide $350 million for new infrastructure to support the replacement of both the Bourne and Sagamore bridges that connect Cape Cod to Massachusetts,” said Moran.

“Unfortunately the bridges are badly in need of repair which has led to costly and time consuming maintenance projects in the last few years. Because the bridges were designed for 1933 cars and traffic patterns, there are often long backups and safety hazards associated with the narrow lanes including a high number of serious accidents.”  

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr offered another amendment which passed unanimously, to secure $7.5 million in funds for the creation of a park and ride facility off of Route 6, exit 2 on route 130 in Sandwich, and improvements to the existing park and ride facility at Route 6, exit 6 in Barnstable.

Cyr placed the $7.5 million authorization within the same line item as the Sagamore and Bourne bridges work, making the park and ride work part of the overall bridge replacement project.

Recent conversations with Massachusetts Department of Transportation staff members have confirmed that the agency would view the park and rides as part of the overall bridge replacement.

Cyr’s amendment raises the overall state-level canal bridge work line item to $357.5 million to ensure there is adequate funding for the park and ride work.

Based on the final report of the MassDOT Canal Bridges Working Group, approximately $4.5 million of the $7.5 million would be for the new Sandwich park and ride and the remaining $3 million would be for the improvements to the Barnstable park and ride.

“For years there has been insufficient park and ride capacity proximate to Route 6, making life for Cape Codders commuting daily or for a trip to Boston or Logan Airport unnecessarily stressful,” said Senator Cyr.

“There are not enough spaces currently at the commuter lots in Barnstable and Sagamore to meet demand, and too many people leave their vehicles sitting in the lots for months on end taking up valuable spaces. We need an expansion of the Barnstable lot, options for limits on length of vehicle stays in the lot, and a new lot off of Exit 2.”

“Senators Cyr and Moran have done an outstanding job providing essential authorization for critically important regional transportation priorities in the recently passed Senate Transportation Bond bill,” said Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir.

“The need for the expanded park and ride facilities on Route 6 has been a longstanding issue of concern. With the planned construction of two new vehicular bridges over the canal, the need becomes more acute, I applaud their prospective planning and great work in identifying and securing resources for these important projects.”

The bill must now be reconciled with legislation previously passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

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