A bill seeking $1 billion in federal funding for evacuation routes across the country has been reintroduced by the Cape’s federal legislative delegation. A portion of the funds contained in the bill would go toward the Bourne and Sagamore bridges.
The Enhancing the Strength and Capacity of America’s Primary Evacuation Routes Act was introduced for the third time on Thursday, February 18. If passed, $1 billion would be directed annually to a grant program focused on expansion and improvement of evacuation routes.
US Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth A. Warren backed the bill. The bill has been introduced twice already, in 2018 and then again in 2019. It has yet to make it through to law.
The Bourne and Sagamore bridges are not specifically mentioned in the bill. However, as the only two ways that vehicles can get on and off the Cape, both spans could be prime candidates for the grant program.
The 85-year-old bridges have been targeted for replacement by the US Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the current spans. Last summer, an agreement was reached transferring ownership of the new bridges to the state. The agreement also made the state the lead agency for construction of the new bridges.