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State and federal leaders unveiled a landmark agreement Tuesday to demolish the two aging bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal and transfer ownership of their replacements to Massachusetts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which currently owns and maintains the 85-year-old Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, will partner with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to plan the multi-year project, leaving the new structures in the department’s hands once the dust settles.

Both bridges were deemed functionally obsolete and require increasingly frequent – and costly – maintenance. As the only road crossings onto Cape Cod, they are often clogged with traffic, particularly during summer months.

Under a memorandum of understanding set to be signed Tuesday, the federal government will maintain responsibility for covering the costs of the project. When the Corps recommended replacing both bridges last year, it projected the cost to range between $1.45 billion and $1.6 billion.

MassDOT will be the “lead agency to deliver the bridges,” according to a summary sent to local officials.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Army Corps of Engineers New England District Commander William Conde and other officials signed the memorandum of understanding in a Tuesday ceremony.

Agreement Reached to Replace Cape Canal Bridges

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min