A culvert

A recently replaced culvert.

The Division of Ecological Restoration is seeking proposals from municipalities interested in replacing an undersized, perched and/or degraded culvert located in an area of high ecological value.

Total funding anticipated to be available in fiscal 2021 is between $750,000 and $1.5 million. Funding is to encourage municipalities to replace culverts with better-designed crossings that meet improved structural and environmental design standards and climate resilience criteria.

Only projects that intend to meet the goals of the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards are eligible. Use of these standards to design culverts improves river function and access for fish and wildlife, and reduces hazards to public safety, such as flooding, culvert failure and road washout, according to the DER.

Massachusetts municipalities are eligible to apply for funding to support advancing one culvert replacement project toward completion.

New this year, municipalities may elect to also be considered for status as one of the DER’s Culvert Replacement Training Sites. Training sites receive additional technical assistance and are eligible for funding until project completion. Additional eligibility requirements apply.

Interested communities should view the full announcement, including funding, eligibility and evaluation criteria, at www.mass.gov/how-to/culvert-replacement-municipal-assistance-grant-program.

The Pre-Request For Responses period is Jan. 28 to Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. and provides a preview of the RFR. Applicants are encouraged to contact Carrie Banks, at 413-579-3015 or DERCulverts@mass.gov, to discuss possible projects during this period.

The RFR is anticipated to be released at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25.

The application deadline is March 25 at 5 p.m.

Grant briefings
Applicants are encouraged to attend grant briefings, where DER staff will explain the Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program, answer questions, and be available to meet one-on-one with municipalities to discuss proposed projects.

Briefings will be held on the following schedule:
• Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-noon, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission, 464 Abbott Ave., Leominster
• Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-noon, MassDOT District 1 Office, 270 Main St., Lenox
• Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-noon, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress St., Springfield
• Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-noon, Division of Marine Fisheries Office, 30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester
• Feb. 14, 1-3 p.m., Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District, 88 Broadway, Taunton
• Feb. 20, 1-3 p.m., Department of Fish and Game, 251 Causeway St., Boston

RSVP to DERCulverts@mass.gov or 413-579-3015. In case of inclement weather, the briefings may need to be canceled or postponed. Check the DER’s website for the most up-to-date information.