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Coronavirus Stimulus Package Includes Push To Speed Up Cape Cod Bridge Replacement Project

BOURNE (CBS) -- Tucked inside the 5,593-page stimulus package passed by Congress this week is a push to get things rolling on a project that's very important to the residents of Cape Cod.

The bill calls for "expedited completion" of the planning process for dozens of projects around the country, including the effort to "replace the Bourne and Sagamore bridges."

Massachusetts senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren said the bridge plan was one of several state infrastructure and environmental projects they were able to include in the final bill.

"During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that we provide relief and support to communities throughout Massachusetts," Markey said in a statement. "I am proud that the water infrastructure legislation passed today includes many of our key provisions, which will provide new and more robust resources to help localities recover and grow their economies, while also bracing for the impacts of climate change. I look forward to building on this progress with comprehensive investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure in the next Congress."

The senators noted the bridges that connect about a quarter million people on the Cape to the rest of the state are more than 80 years old and have been deemed structurally deficient.

"I am glad to see this water resources and infrastructure legislation support critically important infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth," Warren said. "I will continue to fight to ensure our communities have the resources they need to protect against future impacts of climate change and allow for continued economic growth."

It's been expected that construction on the $1 billion project will not begin until 2025 at the earliest. The old bridges would remain open as the new ones are built. The new bridges will be better equipped to handle more cars as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.

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