There are approximately 1,300 bridges in Massachusetts that have span lengths between 10' and 20' that are on municipal roads and the cities and towns which own these bridges are responsible for maintaining and/or replacing them as necessary. This may include preservation, rehabilitation or replacement of these structures. Recognizing the difficulty smaller municipalities have in meeting this responsibility, MassDOT has established the Municipal Small Bridge Program to assist communities with the costs associated with the design and construction of these structures.
This program targets small bridge projects that are not eligible for federal aid under existing bridge replacement or rehabilitation programs, and are a high risk for full or partial closure in the near future due to their present condition. The program also allows for bridge preservation projects.
Funding for this program will utilize non-federal aid state funds. The Application for this program is available on the MassDOT website. Applications will be accepted at three times during the year - Oct. 31, Feb. 28, and June 30. The Application must be submitted by a Municipal official with contracting authority. Approved projects will be funded through reimbursement agreements between MassDOT and each selected municipality.
An Application for an emergency situation can be submitted for review at any time. The municipality must provide an explanation as to why it is an emergency situation.
This program provides for State reimbursement to municipalities of up to 100% of the total design and construction cost of eligible projects addressing preservation, rehabilitation and replacement of municipally owned bridges. The maximum amount of reimbursement, including design, construction and administrative costs is $500,000 per year per municipality. An Application received within 12 months of an approved application will not be considered.
The municipality will be responsible for administering the project through its design and construction phases including procurement of a designer, and bidding and oversight of the construction contract. The selected designer must be pre-qualified by the MassDOT Architects and Engineers Review Board in the category of Basic Bridge Design/Rating. The selected construction contractor must be pre-qualified by MassDOT in the category of Bridge Construction. The municipality will be responsible for obtaining all environmental permits, coordinating with any affected utility companies and securing any required right of way.