Reading Awarded $100,000 in Municipal Small Bridge Program Grant Funding

Money will cover design costs for replacement of Track Road 2 (East) bridge 

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn), Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), and Town Manager Fidel A. Maltez are pleased to announce that Reading has been awarded $100,000 in state funding assistance through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Municipal Small Bridge Program. 

Reading was one of 53 communities to receive funding in the most recent round of awards. The town will use the money to pay for design costs associated with the planned replacement of the bridge at Track Road 2 (East) over Walkers Brook, one of three bridges located in the Track Road and Harvest Road neighborhood, which is bisected by the Quannapowitt Drainage Canal. 

In the early 1990’s two of the three bridges in this area were closed due to severe deficiencies, while the Track Road (West) bridge remained open even as it continued to deteriorate. In 2020, Reading was awarded a Small Bridge Grant to replace the failing Track Road (West) bridge, and construction was completed in early 2021. 

According to Town Engineer Ryan Percival, the new Track Road 2 (East) bridge will feature wider lanes, increasing vehicular and pedestrian access while aiding public safety responses, snow plowing and commercial deliveries. The bridge design includes a precast concrete box culvert which will be increased from its existing size to meet stream crossing standards, mitigate any flow restrictions, and reduce flooding, while a MassDOT-approved guard rail will be installed to improve overall safety. 

“This is tremendous news for Reading, as this grant award will go a long way towards helping town officials design a replacement bridge that will provide residents with improved access while also enhancing public safety,” said Representative Jones. “This is another great example of the strong state-municipal partnerships that have been a hallmark of the Baker-Polito Administration.” 

“I am so pleased that Reading, and the Track Road neighborhood, will benefit from these resources to help reconstruct the bridge over Walkers Brook,” said Representative Haggerty. “I look forward to continuing to support the community’s efforts in rebuilding these small bridges that serve as vital links for area neighborhoods.” 

“I’m very pleased that Reading will be receiving this state grant to enable this important local infrastructure project to move forward,” said Senator Lewis. “I appreciate the leadership and hard work of Reading town officials and the strong collaboration with our legislative delegation in making this happen.” 

“We are extremely excited about the award to continue upgrading our bridges in the Town of Reading,” said Maltez, who credited Percival, DPW Director Jane Kinsella, and Assistant DPW Director Chris Cole for their work in preparing the town’s successful application. “This grant program has a proven track record in Reading, having already funded full replacement of one of our existing bridges. We are thankful to the State Delegation for the incredible support in obtaining funding for our community. We could not properly maintain our aging infrastructure without the ongoing support of State funding.” 

Created in 2016 by the Baker-Polito Administration, the Municipal Small Bridge Program is targeted specifically for the preservation, rehabilitation and replacement of bridges with a span of between 10 and 20 feet, which are often not eligible for federal aid. The program provides funding to municipalities to help offset design and construction costs, with design grants capped annually at $100,000 per community and construction grants capped at $500,000 per community. 

MassDOT evaluates requests for Municipal Small Bridge Program funding based on the condition, benefits and repair status of each bridge, taking into consideration projects that demonstrate a critical need or will substantially extend the life of an existing small bridge. 

The program was initially funded at $50 million and was reauthorized for another $95 million over five years as part of the 2021 Transportation Bond Bill. Since 2016, the program has awarded 173 municipal grants totaling approximately $61.6 million. 

For more information on the Municipal Small Bridge Program, please visit

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