Public Works was awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration for the design of a replacement culvert on Park Hill Road. The existing 21-inch culvert was undersized, perched, and in disrepair. Public Works has had routine maintenance issues with the culvert, including filling of scour holes and structural repairs to the wingwalls caused by high water and the poor condition of the walls. The culvert is located on a tributary to a Cold Water Fishery Resource and was on the state's list of priority culverts for replacement.
The culvert design involved the replacement of the undersized culvert with a three-sided concrete box culvert that is 8.5 feet wide and has a naturalized channel bottom for aquatic species and a terrestrial bench to allow for a wide range of species to move freely between downstream and upstream habitats. The width of the culvert allows flood flows to pass without jeopardizing the roadway.
During the first day of construction, several species were collected from the downstream scour pool, from which they could not migrate further upstream due to the perched culvert condition. These species included creek chub, blacknose dace, salamander, crayfish, and green frog. Species such as these can now move freely upstream through the newly installed culvert.