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Cape Cod bridges replacement: an urgent need

This month, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, and Representative Bill Keating released a report detailing the urgent need to replace the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. Entitled “Cape Cod Bridges Replacement: An Urgent Need,” the report includes data and information from thirty-six local stakeholders, including the Cape Cod Commission, highlighting the critical regional importance of the bridges.

The Commission’s comments noted that the bridges play a crucial role in the economic stability of the surrounding South Coast region and beyond, as many employees commute daily across both bridges. According to the 2020 Census Bureau, about 31,000 off-Cape jobs are filled by workers living on the Cape, and 21,500 on-Cape jobs are filled by people living off-Cape who must commute over the bridges daily. In total, over 50,000 workers have daily commutes reliant on the bridges. In 2021, the earnings of those in-county workers with out-of-county jobs reached $2.9 billion, and those of out-of-county workers with employment in Barnstable County represented $814 million. Nearly all industries rely in one way or another on timely and successful crossings for employees, goods, and visitors.

Federal, state, and local officials met on Friday, October 20, 2023 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay to discuss the project and its critical importance to the region. Senator Warren, Senator Markey, and Congressman Keating joined members of the Cape legislative delegation, municipal and regional leaders including Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Kristy Senatori, Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials, and leaders from the business community. Senior adviser to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu was also in attendance.

The Bourne and Sagamore bridges, built in 1935, span the Cape Cod Canal and connect residents, businesses, and visitors on the Cape and Islands to the mainland. The bridges are essential for general transportation, freight, and tourism, and, in an emergency, are critical routes for evacuation. The bridges are the only connection to and from Cape Cod for vehicular traffic.

The state and the Army Corps are actively pursuing federal grant funding to support the replacement effort prioritizing the Sagamore Bridge replacement as Phase 1 while maintaining a commitment to replace both bridges.

Read the report here: Cape Cod Bridges Replacement: An Urgent Need

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