MassDOT, Corps of Engineers sign Memorandum of Understanding for Cape Cod bridges

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On Thursday, Massachusetts joins the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in reaching an agreement in regard to maintenance for the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges.

Gov. Maura Healey, Lt Gov. Kim Driscoll, state Transportation Secretary & CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt, U.S. Asst. Sec. of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), and U.S. Rep. William Keating (D-MA) gathered to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Massachusetts, the MA Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). As part of the agreement, the USACE will continue to own, operate and maintain the two bridges, while MassDOT will serve as the lead project delivery agency with responsibility to construct two new bridges it will subsequently own, operate and maintain.

“This agreement is an important step forward in our efforts to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges,” Healey said. “From day one, our administration said we were going to do everything we can to deliver on this project that is critical for the economy of the Cape and our entire state.”

The two existing bridges are federally owned assets, operated by the USACE. They provide the only means of vehicular access across Cape Cod Canal, and the loss of any long-term loss of service reliability would be devastating to the region, officials said. The Cape Cod Bridges Program will replace the bridges to support Cape Cod’s economy, and provide reliable travel for residents, workers, and millions of tourists.

As part of the MOU, Massachusetts will provide $700 million to the Cape Cod Bridges Program, while the USACE will provide $600 million, subject to appropriation from Congress. The project has also received $372 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant Program, and is being considered for an additional $1.06 billion grant from the DOT’s Bridge Investment Program.

The Sagamore Bridge Replacement Project will take place first as Phase 1 of the Cape Cod Bridges Program which will make investments into multiple modes of transportation infrastructure along the Cape Cod Canal.

“Our administration continues to focus on improving the quality of life for the people who live and work on the Cape, as well as millions of visitors each year. This MOU underscores the collaborative spirit of our approach to this project to help build the economic growth of the Cape Cod and the Islands,” Driscoll said. 

The new Sagamore Bridge’s replacement will be fully offset from the existing bridge to ensure traffic is maintained. As a result, the project will include reconstruction of portions of the roadways on either side of the proposed canal crossing. The project will also include shared use paths, and modernization and reconfiguration of the design to bring the bridge to a state of good repair. The new design will lower the long-term maintenance costs, address traffic operations issues, and improve safety.