Biden Administration Denies Funds for Cape Bridge Replacements
In what should have been a layup for the all-Democrat Massachusetts Congressional delegation, the Biden Administration has rejected the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers' application for funds to replace the aging Bourne and Sagamore Bridges that are so vital to the economies of the Cape and Islands.
It's not as though the administration was seeking applications for park improvement funds, and Massachusetts applied for bridge money.
The grants awarded in Washington are set aside for bridge projects.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation confirms the Corps' application for $1.88 billion =under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration's Bridge Investment Program Grants has been denied.
In a statement, MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard said, "The Cape Cod bridges are federal assets, and the responsibility to replace them lies with the USACE and the federal government."
The Boston Herald reported the $1.88 billion grant "represents 47 percent of the estimated $3.98 billion total project cost for design and construction of the Cape Cod bridges."
"Despite these bridges being federal assets, the (Baker-Polito) Administration has spent considerable time, energy, and funds to support replacing the bridges, including working with the Legislature to pass significant funding to replace the approaches to the bridges and authorization for Massachusetts to compete for federal grants," Goddard said.
Goddard said MassDOT will continue to pursue "federal discretionary funds" to replace the bridges.
Both bridges are badly in need of repair. Work on the Sagamore Bridge is scheduled to begin in 2025, while repairs to the Bourne Bridge could begin in 2029.
The inability to secure the bridge replacement funds from Washington raises legitimate questions about the influence of U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Rep. William Keating.