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MassDOT Wins ‘Mega’ Grant for Sagamore Bridge Replacement

7:47 AM EST on December 18, 2023

An aerial view of a major highway interchange. In the foreground is the intersection of two multi-lane suburban roads. Behind it is a large parking lot, with a gas station and a handful of other highway-oriented businesses surrounded by asphalt. In the middle distance, a four-lane expressway runs from the right to upper left. In the upper left, the highway crosses a canal over an arched bridge. Another highway runs parallel to the canal into the distance in the photograph's upper right corner.

Route 6 and the Sagamore Bridge (upper left) in Bourne, Massachusetts. Courtesy of MassDOT.

The following is adapted from a MassDOT press release.

On Friday, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that Massachusetts had won $372 million in federal funding to rebuild the Sagamore Bridge to Cape Cod.

The award announced today represents the full amount the administration applied for in August 2023 from the Federal Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program, which includes the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects (INFRA) program and the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program.

The administration still has an outstanding application for $1.06 billion from the Bridge Investment Program (BIP) Large Bridge Project Program.

“We are thrilled that our first application was a success, and we are optimistic that we are in a strong position to bring home the remaining funding," said Governor Maura Healey. "We’re grateful for the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and for the strong partnership of Senators Markey and Warren and Congressman Keating.”

The Healey-Driscoll Administration also recently submitted an application for $1.06 billion in grant funding through the Bridge Investment Program (BIP) Large Bridge Project Program for replacement of the Sagamore Bridge. MassDOT is the lead applicant, applying jointly with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the owner of the bridge. This brings the total amount applied for by the administration to $1.45 billion.

The administration included $262 million toward replacing the bridges in their Fiscal Year 2024-2028 Capital Investment Plan, with the goal of ramping up to Governor Healey’s $700 million total long-term commitment.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has also advanced President Biden’s budget proposal of a $350 million earmark for the Cape Cod Canal Bridges Project.

MassDOT's 2023 MEGA grant application represents a scaled-back revision of an unsuccessful earlier attempt for funding. 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 rejected grant applications that sought a total of $3.6 billion dollars in federal funding for various highway expansions associated with the Cape Cod bridge replacements.

The original Cape Cod Bridge program had been estimated to cost over $4.5 billion. In addition to building new, 6-lane replacements for the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges – each of which would be nearly twice as wide as the existing 4-lane bridges – MassDOT has also proposed 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.

Earlier this summer, in light of the Commonwealth's unsuccessful efforts to finance that mega-project, the Healey administration announced a scaled-back, "phased" approach that would focus on replacing the Sagamore Bridge first.

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