MassDOT Announces Launch of New Local Bottleneck Reduction Program

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the launch of the new Local Bottleneck Reduction Program. Through the passage of the 2021 Transportation Bond Bill, the Baker-Polito Administration authorized establishment of a program that provides support to municipalities in their local congestion reduction efforts. The program will fund innovative solutions to address local congestion bottlenecks at intersections to improve traffic flow. Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2021.

The Local Bottleneck Reduction Program will target individual signalized intersections or small corridors with multiple signalized intersections that contribute to travel delays. During Fiscal Year 2022, the program funding will be used to address operational delays that are created from poor traffic signal timing, outdated equipment, or the lack of adequate vehicle detection to promote efficient movement of traffic for all approaches. In future program years, eligible bottleneck reduction strategies will be expanded to include larger efforts, such as intersection reconstruction. Typical eligible project types for Fiscal Year 2022 include:

• Traffic signal retiming

• Traffic signal controller and cabinet upgrades

• Traffic Signal Priority equipment (with endorsement from transit agency)

• Vehicle detection installation, repairs, or replacement

• Coordination of multiple traffic signals

Municipalities do not need to apply for specific project types if they are not sure of the best solution for improving a particular bottleneck. Municipalities may simply propose a location for funding if they believe it can be improved via an eligible project type. If selected for funding, MassDOT will develop a project scope within the parameters of the program based on information provided in the application as well as additional coordination with the community. While there are no maximum grant limits for this program, it is anticipated that project grants for Fiscal Year 2022 will range between $50,000 and $200,000.

Project locations are proposed by municipalities and considered by MassDOT for funding through a competitive application process. A single application may propose improvements at multiple intersections in the same corridor. Only signalized intersections owned and operated entirely by a municipality may be considered. Selection is based primarily on congestion and delay metrics. Additional evaluation criteria include:

• Project proximity to the State Highway Network

• Whether the project is located within an Environmental Justice Community

• Whether the project is located within one mile of a school

• Whether the project is located on a fixed transit route

Applications are now being accepted online through MassDOT’s Massachusetts Project Intake Tool (MaPIT). The deadline for application submission is November 15, 2021. Every municipality in the Commonwealth is eligible for this program. Only municipal officials may submit applications. Applications that are selected after an initial screening will be followed by a site visit to confirm the work to be conducted. If advanced to implementation, MassDOT will oversee the work. For more details on how to apply, visit:www.mass.gov/info-details/how-to-apply-to-the-local-bottleneck-reduction-program.

The Local Bottleneck Reduction Program was authorized in the 2021 Transportation Bond Bill for $50 million over five years. Through MassDOT’s Capital Investment Plan, $2.5 million has been allocated for this program in Fiscal Year 2022. To learn more about the Local Bottleneck Reduction Program, visit: www.mass.gov/local-bottleneck-reduction-program. To learn more about other MassDOT grant programs, visit: https://geodot-local-massdot.hub.arcgis.com/pages/grants.

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