MassDOT, USACE reach agreement regarding Bourne and Sagamore Bridges

MassDOT will lead project delivery and subsequently own, operate, and maintain two new bridges

July 15, 2020 / 2 minute read
Bridge in Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts
Image: Massachusetts DOT

The Massachusetts DOT (MassDOT) along with the U.S. Department of the Army and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently reached an agreement regarding the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge

Under the agreement, USACE will continue to own, operate, and maintain the existing Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, and MassDOT will serve as the lead project delivery agency with responsibility to construct and subsequently own, operate, and maintain two new bridges.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will guide the partnership between the state and federal agencies in the replacement of the two Cape Cod Canal Bridges, which are owned and maintained by USACE. The Army Corps will continue to be responsible for ownership, operation, and maintenance of the existing bridges until replacement bridges are built and operational. MassDOT and USACE will work together to plan, permit, fund, construct, demolish, and transfer ownership of two new Cape Cod Canal Bridges built to current Federal Highway and MassDOT standards.

The parties agreed that the funding of the bridges is a federal responsibility and will work together to develop a funding plan and seek congressional acceptance. The MOU establishes MassDOT as the lead project delivery agency, recognizing MassDOT’s experience and capability to deliver bridges of similar size and complexity. Once the replacement bridges are complete, MassDOT will own, operate, and maintain the new bridges as part of the Commonwealth’s network of roads and bridges.

“With the decision made to replace the existing bridges, this MOU lays out how that process will proceed,” MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack said in a statement. “MassDOT is pleased to take the lead on constructing the new bridges, working closely with our federal partners, and will also be responsible for redesigning and reconstructing the approaches to the two new bridges. We look forward to engaging town and city officials in the region, community leaders, residents, business owners and other stakeholders as we move through the design and permitting process, beginning with an alternatives analysis that will help decide the exact locations and configuration of the replacement bridges. Most of all, we look forward to a day when two new bridges will be in place over the Canal, built to modern day standards and in place to help people safely get to and from the Cape for many decades.”

In fall 2019, USACE released a report on the future of the Cape Cod Canal highway bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal and held several public meetings in October. The Corps and MassDOT have collaborated throughout the bridge study process. In addition, the Commonwealth has plans to improve the roads it maintains and owns approaching the bridges and along the Canal. 

The MassDOT Cape Cod Canal Area Transportation Study examined options at a conceptual level such as modified and improved highway interchanges, and improvements for pedestrian, bicycle and transit access in order to improve multi-modal travel. The report includes analytical findings, a recommended plan of transportation improvements (short-term, medium-term and long-term), preliminary cost estimates for these improvements, and a comprehensive implementation plan for the recommended improvements. 

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SOURCE: Massachusetts DOT

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