Spencer Culvert Assessment and Stream Continuity Project
This web page presents the 2015 Spencer/WPI Culvert Assessment and Stream Continuity Project and the Spencer Culvert Assessment Form & Guide developed by the WPI students as part of their Major Qualifying Project (WQP) in 2015.

The Spencer Culvert Assessment Form & Guide were developed under the direction of the Town of Spencer DPW Director Steven J. Tyler, P.E., and referenced practices and standards of the NBIS, FHWA, NCHRP and other state transportation agencies and guides.  This tool is intended to fill the missing gap for the assessment of smaller culverts and provides a comprehensive methodology and can be performed and completely quickly.

The links provided below include access to editable master files so that other Cities/Towns or agencies can use them to customize the guides and forms for their own use.

Also provided is a link to the final WPI project report called … Designing a Culvert Management System for the Town of Spencer, MA.  This report explains how the assessment form works and the type of useful information that can be gained from it for the prioritization of culvert replacements.

It is important to note that this culvert assessment project also included wildlife and fisheries habitat evaluations for each culvert pursuant to the standards of the Massachusetts River and Stream Continuity Project, which began in the year 2000 at UMass Amherst under the direction of Professor Scott Jackson with a startup grant from the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative.  Objectives of the River and Stream Continuity Project are to provide: 1) Technical guidance and standards for river/stream crossings, 2) A rapid assessment methodology to inventory and evaluate culverts and other stream crossing structures, and 3) systems for prioritizing crossing structures for upgrade or replacement.  The WPI students familiarized themselves with all of the standards and requirements of the UMass River and Stream Continuity Project and received one-on-one in field training from Professor Jackson on the stream continuity inventory and assessment methods and procedures.  The assessment included data collection and input into the  River and Stream Continuity Project GIS database.

Since 2000, the Massachusetts River and Stream Continuity Project has grown considerably to be part of what is now the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative.   Please refer to the follow link for more information https://streamcontinuity.org/

The stream crossing standards are based on six important variables.  Link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/der/riverways/stream-cros-sing-standards.pdf

Summary … The Town of Spencer feels that the WPI project team did an excellent job at creating the culvert conditions assessment tool and at learning the importance and incorporating the standards of the River and Stream Continuity Project and including those very important environmental principles into the evaluation of Spencer’s culverts and the recommendations for replacement.  

Thank you very much to the WPI Project Team Seamus Gallagher, Kevin Brendan and Ryan Bagge.  Your efforts are very useful and much appreciated.


Complete WPI Team Major Qualifying Report
Designing a Culvert Management System for the Town of Spencer, MA
Town of Spencer Culvert Assessment Tool (Forms, Guides & Editable Files)
Spencer Culvert Assessment Form & Guide
Spencer Culvert Assessment Cover Page (editable file)
Spencer Culvert Assessment Packet without cover page (editable file)
Spencer Culvert Assessment Field Data Form (editable file)
Massachusetts DER - Stream Continuity Program
The Mass Dept. of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration Stream Continuity Program is available to provide culvert replacement planning and technical assistance free of charge. Please contact the Stream Continuity Specialist, Tim Chorey at 617-626-1541 or timothy.chorey@state.ma.us. DER Link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/der/aquatic-habitat-restoration/river-restoration/river-continuity-program.html 

Other Important Resources and Links
Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards Handbook
River and Stream Continuity Project / North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC)
6 Important Variables of the Stream Crossing Standards
Climate-Friendly Stream Crossings Toolkit
Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS)

Last Updated: 2/22/2016