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Review and Approval Process

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Municipal Small Bridge Program

  1. The municipality submits an Application to the District with adequate detail and backup for review with a preliminary cost estimate for the project. Information should include photographs, a description of the structure(s) including date of construction/reconstruction and structure type, repair history, summary of known problems and a discussion of proposed work. The estimate must include any anticipated design costs and should include an appropriate amount for contingencies (suggested 15%). If more than one municipality decides to submit an application jointly, they must identify which municipality will be the "lead". If approved, MassDOT will enter into an agreement with the lead municipality.

  2. The District will review the submittal considering the detail and backup provided along with their knowledge of the municipality, bridge and location. The District may request further information from the municipality if warranted in order to determine program eligibility. The District will confirm that the problems are correctly identified and that the proposed improvements are appropriate, and will work with the municipality to refine the proposed project if necessary.

  3. The District will respond to the municipality within 30 days in writing regarding project eligibility. For projects determined eligible for funding in the Municipal Small Bridge Program, the District will also provide written guidance on any additional steps required by the municipality to complete a project agreement and to implement the project. These steps may include the preparation of a more detailed scope of work and cost estimate for the project.

  4. The municipality will prepare all additional information necessary to properly define the proposed project, and will submit this information to the District for review and concurrence within 30 days of receipt of District comments.

  5. If the District concurs with the proposed project, it will forward the application and scoring document to MassDOT's Bridge Section in Boston with a recommendation for inclusion in the Program.

  6. The (Boston) Bridge Section will then review, within 30 days of receipt of the Districts recommendation, and will evaluate the project based on the detail and backup provided, as well as the overall condition of the bridge in relation to other BRI bridges. The Bridge Section will then forward the request to the Chief Engineer with a memo noting whether they concur with the District or not, along with any relevant comments.

  7. Based on the information provided, and with the goal of achieving a proportional distribution based on the percentage of BRI bridges in each district, the Chief Engineer will determine if the proposed project should be included in the Program. The Chief Engineer's decision shall be documented in a letter to the municipality, with a copy to the District and the Boston Bridge Section within 30 days of receipt of the Boston Bridge Section's recommendation.

  8. MassDOT will enter into an agreement with the municipality to reimburse the municipality 100% of the total cost of the project, up to a maximum of $500,000 for each project, inclusive of any necessary design costs.

  9. The municipality shall appropriate necessary funds to design and construct the project. The designer shall be selected through a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process and the contractor will be selected based on the lowest responsible and eligible bidder.

  10. The municipality shall submit to the District and the Boston Bridge Section the project plans, calculations, specifications and estimate for review at the preliminary (approximately 25% completion) and final (100%) design level.

  11. MassDOT will perform a structural adequacy review in accordance with Section 35 of Chapter 85 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

  12. Prior to awarding the construction contract, the Municipality shall submit a letter to MassDOT certifying that all required environmental permits have been obtained.

  13. Prior to awarding the construction contract, the Municipality shall submit a letter to MassDOT certifying that all necessary right of way required to construct the project has been acquired.

  14. After obtaining MassDOT approval, the municipality shall proceed with the construction phase of the project in accordance with the terms of their reimbursable agreement.

  15. Project construction must be completed in order for reimbursement of design services.

  16. Upon completion of the project, MassDOT will perform an inspection to document the completed work.

  17. If the work is deemed in compliance with the engineering plans, MassDOT will reimburse the municipality the actual cost of the project up to the approved amount in the agreement.

  18. Costs that are NOT reimbursable include:

    • General municipal administrative costs

    • Legal costs and/or insurance premiums

    • Any costs incurred prior to the date of execution of the agreement between the municipality and MassDOT

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