BOURNE (CBS) – Congressional leaders in Massachusetts are urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to follow through on a recommendation to replace the Sagamore and Bourne bridges. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as Rep. Bill Keating, sent a letter to leaders calling for full replacement of the 85-year-old Cape Cod Canal bridges.

A report released by the Corps in October said replacement is the most cost-effective way to combat a problem that causes major traffic jams, resulting in millions of dollars lost for Cape Cod businesses.

But the Congressional trio said they are concerned that federal officials may still decide to repair and rehabilitate the bridges instead of building new ones as recommended.

Read The Letter (PDF)

“Replacing both the Bourne and Sagamore is not only the best solution for the Cape and Islands, it is the only viable long-term solution for the nearly 250,000 residents and businesses of the region who rely on this vital connection to the rest of Massachusetts,” the letter states. “We strongly believe that this proposal is the only way to ensure that the Canal Bridges can provide robust access to and from the Cape and Islands, while also meeting modern safety specifications and addressing growing traffic needs.”

They’re calling for a final replacement plan as soon as possible, and for financing to be included in President Donald Trump’s budget.

The bridges are currently both scheduled to undergo a second “major rehabilitation” costing nearly $400 million in 2025-2027. Replacing the bridges would cost $601 million between 2025 and 2034, and the existing bridges would remain in operation until the new ones open.

A final report is expected from the Corps in February.

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