U.S. Senate Candidate John Deaton and Republican Lawmakers and Candidates Unite to Protect Cape Cod From Bridge Funding Shortfall

Republicans Warn of ‘Warren Traffic Jams’ and Say They ‘Won’t Let Cape Down’ While Fighting to Replace 89-Year-Old Bridges

BOURNE – U.S. Senate candidate John Deaton united with Republican lawmakers and candidates on Monday to lambast Beacon Hill and Massachusetts’s one-party federal delegation for failing to secure more than a small fraction of the funding experts say will be needed to replace both the Sagamore and Bourne bridges to Cape Cod.

At a press conference in the shadow of Bourne’s 89-year-old bridge, the Republican collection of Cape elected officials and candidates welcomed tentative plans by the Healey administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fund a small portion of a single bridge’s replacement. However, speakers also criticized Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Congressman Bill Keating and the Commonwealth’s eight other Democratic congresspersons for focusing elsewhere while Cape residents wait to see whether the Sagamore Bridge will soon be closed.

“Elizabeth Warren has had 12 years in office to secure funding for Massachusetts’s foremost infrastructure project but instead has been busy chasing headlines or running for president. Her focus is not on the blocking and tackling of governing that residents expect. Building new roads and bridges is a bipartisan cause, but it’s no secret in Washington that Warren is too polarizing to work with. Before we experience a tragedy, it’s imperative that we elect a U.S. Senator who won’t rest until the Cape’s two throughways to the mainland are replaced,” said U.S. Senate candidate John Deaton.

“Summer is a critical time for Cape Cod’s economy, and nothing would be more beneficial than to see a dedicated source of funding to replace our Sagamore and Bourne bridges. I ask that our elected officials, especially in our federal delegation, recommit themselves to a sense of urgency as they seek to secure the funding that will make full replacements possible,” said State Representative Steven Xiarhos (R-Barnstable).

“The re-building of the Sagamore and Bourne bridges will require significant fiscal collaboration at both the state and federal level. In order to make this project a reality, it is imperative that we have steady voices in all levels of government to manage the process so that taxpayers can have assurance that this project is being conducted in a responsible way,” said State Representative Matt Muratore (R-Plymouth).

“The bridges are the lifeblood to the Cape’s economy. My opponent said 2 years ago that the federal delegation had this covered. With the bridges reaching a critical point for repairs, if they had it covered, why hasn’t construction started? As the next Senator, I will work with Senator John Deaton to get the funding. Moreover, I will not support tolls on the bridges as Senator Cyr has suggested,” said Christopher Lauzon, candidate for the Cape and Islands State Senate district.

“The problem is that no one in DC or Beacon Hill is helping Cape Cod. We need our federal and state delegations working to help the Cape. When elected, I will be a strong advocate for the Cape, not just someone who collects a paycheck for doing nothing,” said Susanne Conley, candidate for the Second Barnstable State Representative district.

BACKGROUND:

  • Completed in 1935, the Sagamore and Bourne bridges are two examples of New Deal-era infrastructure rapidly aging and putting the health of America’s roads in jeopardy. In 2021, both were declared “functionally obsolete” by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
  • Officials previously told that Boston Globe that, unless construction of new bridges begins by 2028, they will be forced to permanently close a lane in each direction by 2032 on the Bourne Bridge and 2036 on the Sagamore Bridge.
  • In December, Massachusetts’s federal delegation secured $372 million in federal grant funding to replace the Sagamore Bridge, where a full replacement is expected to cost $2.1 billion. The total cost of replacing both bridges stands at $4.5 billion, or about 8% of the state’s entire $58 billion annual budget.
  • At the same time, the state’s request for up to $1 billion in federal grant funding sits idle within the federal Bridge Investment Program.
  • On Beacon Hill, legislative leaders have committed $350 million to bridge replacements, matching federal investments which have not yet been signed into law. Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA) previously described the plausibility for securing funding for the Bourne Bridge as “mixed,” according to the Cape Cod Times.

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