BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today officially launched the $50 million Municipal Small Bridge Program, with applications being accepted through October 31. The program makes up to $500,000 per year, per municipality for administration, design and construction, available to communities to rebuild and rehabilitate critical local bridges not eligible for federal aid under existing replacement or rehabilitation programming and at high risk for full or partial closure due to present condition.

“Local transportation infrastructure, such as small bridges, play a critical role in providing safe travel routes and economic opportunity throughout Massachusetts’ communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased the Legislature agreed with this important need and advanced our proposals this year to provide key funding that will support flexible and local transit options that keep drivers safe.”

In August, Governor Baker signed legislation creating the program based on an earlier proposal by the administration in February to support approximately 1,300 bridges on municipal roads across Massachusetts spanning lengths between 10 and 20 feet.

“The Municipal Small Bridge program is another example of our administration’s commitment to partnering with and supporting our cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These bridges and the funding to support them are both important pieces of our local economies.”

“Seemingly small-scope projects such as small bridges can actually be critical for citizens’ ability to travel throughout their communities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Small Bridge program is just one of the many examples of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to strengthening communities and local transportation infrastructure.”

Municipalities can access project documents, including the program application, on the MassDOT website:

 

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/DoingBusinessWithUs/LocalAidPrograms/MunicipalSmallBridgeProgram.aspx

 

If municipalities have questions during the application process, they are encouraged to contact their District Bridge Engineer listed on the MassDOT website.

“Although, these locally-owned municipal bridges may be small physically, the impacts of closing one are large.  When a bridge is out of circulation, it means real impacts to real people.  It can mean anything from delayed emergency response, to child pickup and drop-off from school and everything in between,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “MassDOT is excited to be partnering with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to keep these small bridges open, accessible and functionally sound.”

The legislation signed by the Governor in August also broadened the authorization of the Complete Streets Funding Program, included a $750 million authorization request for the federal highway aid program and aligned Rail Enhancement Program bonds with projects similar to the Accelerated Bridge Program.