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Sagamore Bridge federal grants could be awarded this winter

Liz Lerner

Word is likely to come this winter about whether the Sagamore Bridge project will receive two federal grants totaling about $400 million.

Quentin Palfrey, the state’s director of federal funds and infrastructure, told CAI that based on past practice, the so-called “Mega” and “INFRA” grants could be awarded in the next few months.

“Judging by what we've heard from our federal partners, and sort of historically how long reviews have taken at the U.S. Department of Transportation, I would think that we'd be looking to hear in the winter,” he said.

The Mega grant program is known more formally as the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program; the INFRA is the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Projects program.

A third, larger grant from the Bridge Investment Program could come later.

“The Bridge Investment application, just north of $1 billion, was just submitted this week,” Palfrey said. “So I think that's likely to take a little bit longer to go through the review process, whereas the Mega and INFRA applications that we made in August are a little bit farther along in the review process.”

That money would be combined with state and federal budget funds to cover the full cost of the Sagamore Bridge, which is estimated at just over $2 billion.

The state plans to build the Sagamore Bridge first, and then the Bourne Bridge.

Palfrey said design and permitting will continue, even if only part of the money is approved in this cycle.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.