Four western Mass. towns get grants for culvert work

The culvert that runs the King Brook underneath the West Hawley Road (Route 8A) in Hawley is shown in August 2022.

The culvert that runs the King Brook underneath the West Hawley Road (Route 8A) in Hawley is shown in August 2022. recorder file photo

Staff Report

Published: 01-10-2024 1:43 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Several area towns have landed grants for culvert repairs from the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of  Ecological Restoration.

Towns receiving grants include:

■Chester, Abbott Brook , $55,361

This award supports efforts to replace two culverts over Abbott Brook on Abbott Hill Road, including field data collection and preliminary design activities. Replacing these culverts will benefit important coldwater habitats, improve aquatic wildlife passage, stream connectivity, public access and safety, and reduce flood risks.   

■Huntington, Bromley Road, $34,000

This award supports field data collection and design and permitting activities for two culvert replacement projects over a tributary to the East Branch of the Westfield River on Bromley Road. 

Installing more resilient structures will provide public safety and public access benefits, improve important coldwater habitats and aquatic wildlife passage, reduce the risk of flooding and damage, and decrease maintenance needs. 

■South Hadley, Elmer Brook, $25,000

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This award supports design, engineering, and permitting activities for a culvert replacement project over Elmer Brook on Pearl Street. The crossing has been identified as among the top 5% of crossings prioritized for replacement by the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool, and replacing the culvert will reduce flooding and improve aquatic wildlife passage and habitat connectivity. 

■Belchertown, Hop Brook, $10,000

This award supports field data collection, engineering, and permitting activities for a culvert replacement on Hop Brook. Replacing this culvert with a structure that better meets the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards will improve stream connectivity and wildlife access and reduce the risk of flooding. 

The Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance grant program supports culvert replacement projects that improve river health and road safety. 

The competitive program helps municipalities replace undersized and deteriorating culverts with stream crossings that meet improved design standards.

“Combating climate change and protecting the habitats vital to our communities is critical and will take all of us working together,” Sen. Jacob Oliveira, D-Ludlow, said in a statement.

“I want to thank the Healey-Driscoll administration, the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and the hard-working individuals in municipalities like the ones I represent, South Hadley and Belchertown, for seeking out these resources and continuing to collaborate and strive to find ways to reach our climate goals.”