With a major project to rebuild the Bourne and Sagamore bridges now in the state highway pipeline, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will host two virtual public meetings this week to present an update on the project and hear public comment.

The identical live meetings will be held over Zoom Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m.; a link to register for the meetings is here.

Study done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2019 found the bridges were functionally obsolete and should be replaced. — Ray Ewing

A study completed in 2019 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the bridges, which span the Cape Cod Canal and were built in the 1930s, are functionally obsolete and should be replaced. The original estimated cost of the replacement was north of $1 billion, but that number has since gone up due to inflation.

Still in the early stages of planning, funding and permitting, the project will be paid for by federal money. In 2020 it was decided that once the work is complete, responsibility for the bridges will ultimately shift from the Army Corps to MassDOT.

In September the Army Corps failed to obtain a grant from the federal Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Projects that was intended to help pay for the project.

But Rep. Bill Keating, who represents the ninth district which includes the Cape and Islands, said at the time that what appeared to be a funding snafu did not in any way represent a setback for the project.

“Understanding the process is important,” Mr. Keatng told the Gazette by phone. “There’s a perception that all of a sudden there will be the ability to capture a billion or two billion dollars in one fell swoop which defies common sense . . . in fact this is not going to be completed for several years, and federal agencies have to assess the shovel readiness of the project. The commonwealth moved it back a few years which made it less shovel-ready . . . the funding is going to be parceled out in phases. There are other grants coming; there are buckets of money out there and [the money] is going to come from differents buckets and it’s going to come in phases.”

Mr. Keating emphasized that the project is a top priority for lawmakers. “In Massachusetts all the nine House members have gotten together to say this project is number one . . . everyone is on the same page when it comes to the Cape Cod bridges,” he said.

“The bridges are going to be rebuilt. They have to be.”