BOURNE (CBS) – Massachusetts leaders are reaching out to federal officials to express “deep disappointment” in the lack of funding set aside in Washington, D.C. for the replacement of two aging Cape Cod Canal bridges. There’s no mention of the Bourne and Sagamore bridge replacement projects in President Donald Trump’s budget or the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ work plan.
“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,” Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Bill Keating wrote in a letter to Assistant Army for Civil Works Sec. Rickey James and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
In October, a report from the Corps recommended completely replacing the “functionally obsolete” 84-year-old bridges. The replacement plan was determined to be the most cost-effective way to reduce traffic jams that cost Cape Cod businesses millions.
A final decision from the Corps on the bridge project is expected in the spring, and the letter writers are concerned that funding won’t be available to get work started immediately.
“We are concerned that this decision reflects a failure to understand the urgency of the situation for the Cape & Islands,” the letter states. “The residents of this region cannot wait multiple years for this project to begin.”
Under the replacement plan, the existing bridges would remain in operation until the new bridges open.
A spokeswoman for the Corps told The Cape Cod Times that they can’t budget for the replacement project until it gets final approval, but they are funded to keep maintaining the bridges for safety purposes.