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Cost to replace the Cape Cod bridges could more than triple

bourne bridge.jpeg
Liz Lerner
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The Bourne bridge.

It could cost $3 to $4 billion to replace the Bourne and Sagamore bridges.

The new estimate is from the Army Corp of Engineers and the state, and is significantly higher than when the project was first unveiled in 2019.

State transportation secretary Jamey Tesler announced the new projected estimate to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board of directors on Wednesday. He said that's based on what the inflation rate will be when the project breaks ground.

"That’s based on when construction will begin and the amount of time it will take to construct both bridges, and the rate of inflation we need to assume," Tessler said. "We are seeing inflation in a lot of our work, in a lot of our bids, and in the overall economy."

It’s still unclear when the project could begin, but Congressional representatives for the Cape hope that’ll happen within the next five years. That's before the Sagamore bridge needs a major rehabilitation.

Tesler says the state and Army Corps are re-evaluating the cost of the project because of inflation, and are expected to release a final estimate in the coming days.

The Corps first produced plans of two new, much wider bridges three years ago. The project was then expected to cost just $1 billion.

The bridges under the 2019 plan are almost three times as wide as what's there now.

Sam Houghton has been with the station since the summer of 2017. Before that, he worked at the Falmouth Enterprise, where he covered local politics.