On Thursday morning, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it would not commit any funding from its new Bridge Investment Grant program for MassDOT's "Cape Bridges Program," a $4 billion proposal to widen several highways and intersections in the vicinity of the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne.
The proposed Cape Cod Bridges Program is often described as a project to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges over the Cape Cod Canal in the town of Bourne.
But the project is much more extensive than that. In addition to building new, 6-lane bridges – each of which would be nearly twice as wide as the existing 4-lane bridges – MassDOT is also proposing to add more lanes to connecting highways like Route 6, add more lanes to local streets like Sandwich Road, build a new mile-long bypass road, widen intersections, and build new highway-style interchanges on both sides of the canal:
That makes the Cape Bridges Program one of the last major highway widening projects that remains under serious consideration in the Commonwealth.
In 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the bridges themselves, and MassDOT, which controls the connecting roadways in the area, submitted several grant applications to seek $3.6 billion dollars in federal funding for the proposed project.
On Thursday, the USDOT announced that a major source of hoped-for funding – the Bridge Investment Program, which was created as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and has an annual budget of $2.1 billion – would not award any funds to the Cape Cod bridges project this year.