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Bridges in focus: Republican candidates talk about Cape Cod's biggest construction project

John Deaton, a candidate in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, speaks near the Sagamore Bridge. With him are state legislative candidates Kari MacRae, Susanne Conley, and Christopher Lauzon.
Jennette Barnes
/
CAI
John Deaton, a candidate in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, speaks near the Sagamore Bridge. With him are state legislative candidates Kari MacRae, Susanne Conley, and Christopher Lauzon.

At the height of the summer season on Cape Cod, the Cape bridges are getting attention — not just from vacationers stuck in traffic, but also from political candidates.

At the foot of the Sagamore Bridge yesterday, four Republican candidates gathered to talk about bridge funding and their campaigns.

John Deaton, one of three people vying for the Republican nomination against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, organized an outdoor press conference focused on the $4.5 billion bridge project.

He accused Warren of not working with then-Gov. Charlie Baker on bridge funding because of party politics.

“These are federally owned bridges,” he said. “Where was the federally sitting senator trying to work with a governor who was trying to fix the situation? She was absent.”

In response, a spokesperson for Warren said she helped secure the $722 million in federal funding dedicated to the bridges to date.

The state expects to learn this summer whether the bridges will receive a federal grant worth more than $1 billion from the Bridge Investment Program. That money, combined with previous state and federal funding, would nearly match the cost estimate of $2.1 billion for the first bridge to be rebuilt, the Sagamore.

Warren and the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation signed a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in March, urging the Biden administration to select the Cape Cod bridges for the grant.

Three other Republican candidates joined Deaton: Christopher Lauzon, who is running for state Senate in the Cape and Islands District; Kari MacRae, a state Senate candidate in the Plymouth and Barnstable District; and Susanne Conley, a House candidate in the Second Barnstable District.

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.