The Bourne Bridge in Massachusetts

Transportation Department allocated millions of dollars on large infrastructure projects

December 20, 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, millions of dollars for infrastructure projects are headed to states and cities from the Department of Transportation’s National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program.

The MEGA program, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, provides grant funding for projects that are too complex or large for traditional funding. .

Bridge projects in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; a railyard project at the Port of Long Beach in Southern California; an Indiana highway redevelopment and a new terminal at the Port of New Orleans are among the recent beneficiaries of the MEGA program.

A project to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge connecting Portland, Oregon, and southwest Washington over the Columbia River also is set to receive $600 million in federal funds.

The DOT awarded the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a $372 million grant to put toward a $5 billion plan to replace the Cape Cod Canal Bridges.

The nearly 90-year-old Bourne and Sagamore bridges are structurally deficient and will be demolished and replaced with two new bridges, according to state documents.

The bridges average 165,400 vehicle daily crossings on Sundays during Cape Cod’s peak tourism season. In the offseason, the bridges see 80,000 estimated daily annual crossings. Overall, the bridges see 38 million vehicle crossings a year.

Construction will be completed in stages to keep traffic flowing in both directions and to maintain the bridges’ connections to existing roadways. The bridges’ lanes will be widened to meet current highway standards and include two travel lanes in each direction with an additional entrance and exit lane to help maintain traffic flow. The new design also includes a shared-use path and shoulders for emergency vehicle access.

Construction is expected to begin in 2028 and end in 2036.

Indiana was awarded a $127 million MEGA grant for its $212.5 million FlexRoad project. The FlexRoad is currently in its environmental and preliminary design phase, and contractors will be determined in fall 2025. Construction on the 14-mile Interstate 80/I-94 Borman Expressway that extends from the Indiana-Illinois state line to I-65 in Gary, Indiana, will start in 2026.

Indiana is considering four options for the project that has a combination of dynamic shoulder lanes, variable speed limits, ramp metering and queue warning systems and other traffic management systems.

The Borman Expressway was built in 1950 to accommodate 60,000 vehicles per day. By the early 2000s, the highway carried 160,000 vehicles per day.

American port projects are also getting significant MEGA grants.

In Southern California, the Port of Long Beach was awarded a $283 million MEGA grant to complete the final phase of its Pier B on-dock rail support facility, composed of north and south railyards.

The final cost of the project is $1.56 billion. Construction on this final phase will begin in 2024.

The port will complete the expansion of its north rail yard with two new mainline tracks, five new 10,000-foot receiving and departure tracks, and 26 new storage tracks.

The port’s south rail yard expansion will add seven 3,000-foot storage tracks, lengthen and rehabilitate seven existing 3,000-foot storage tracks, construct two tracks in the Pico Avenue Rail Corridor, reconfigure tracks near Pier D Street and build a compressed air facility.

The port’s increased rail capacity is estimated to reduce over 5 million truck trips and 100 million truck vehicle miles per year, cutting emissions.

In Louisiana, the Port of New Orleans was awarded $73.8 million to put toward a new $1.8 billion shipping container terminal.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an environmental review of the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025, with the first berth opening in 2028.

All news and information on this site is provided by the team at Strategic Partnerships, Inc. Check out this short 1-minute video that provides a quick overview of how we work with clients.

Photo by John Phelan

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