Feds to Provide $1.1 Billion Towards Bridge Replacements in Mass.

SAGAMORE – Senator Ed Markey was on Cape Cod this week to discuss just over $1 billion in federal money that will be available to fund the replacement of Massachusetts bridges, such as the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.

Markey highlighted nearly $8 billion in funding for Massachusetts in the bipartisan infrastructure bill recently approved by the U.S. Senate, including the $1.1 billion dedicated for the bridges.

Markey was joined by Congressman Bill Keating, Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran, Colonel John Atilano, Commander and District Engineer of the New England District of the Army Corps of Engineers, and other local officials to discuss the projects.

“As everyone here knows, the Bourne and the Sagamore bridges are vital parts of the Cape’s economy and their way of life, connecting the residents of this region to the rest of Massachusetts and serving as an evacuation route in the worst case emergency situations,” said Markey.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “these two bridges are also over eighty years old, structurally deficient, and in desperate need of replacement.”

Markey outlined legislation dedicating $140 billion to improving, fortifying, or replacing evacuation routes on Cape Cod, which includes the canal bridges.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill also includes The Bridge Investment Act, legislation which will provide $12.5 billion as a grant program to assist state, local and federal entities with bridge replacement and rehabilitation.

The bill will also ensure that the Army Corps, who owns the bridges, and the state of Massachusetts can work together for funding to complete the crucial bridge projects.

The Army Corps will receive an infusion of $4 billion for its operations and maintenance, and $11.6 billion for its construction projects.

“There really has not been a piece of legislation like this moving through the United States Commerce for generations,” said Markey.

Keating emphasized a sense of urgency in replacing the bridges.

“The Army Corps final report just stated very clearly that if we don’t go in that direction within five or six years, there will be a complete closure of either one bridge or the other for an eighteen month period,” said Keating.

The infrastructure bill is scheduled to be voted on in the U.S. House next month.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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