News & Events

Manchester-by-the-Sea Receives Nearly $1.6 Million Grant

Left to Right: Former Grant Administrator for Manchester-by-the-Sea Mary Reilly, Senior Environmental Scientist Gabrielle Belfit, Senior Project Manager Daniel Murphy, Transportation Business Line Leader and Sr. Vice President Richard Benevento, Senator Bruce Tarr, and Town Administrator Greg Federspiel.

The Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea announced their community had received a nearly $1.6 million grant through Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Habitat Protection established by the Restoration Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The grant allows for the Town’s Central Street Bridge Replacement and Sawmill Brook Restoration Project to move forward.

Tighe & Bond assisted with the grant application process and designed and permitted the future replacement bridge for Central Street (Route 127) where Sawmill Brook drains to Manchester Harbor. The bridge replacement and brook restoration will restore habitat, connectivity, and fish passage while increasing resiliency for Manchester-by-the-Sea through the reconstruction of infrastructure, reconnection of tidal flow, streambank restoration, and salt marsh establishment.

The project objectives include the replacement of the Central Street Bridge, removal of the Sawmill Brook tide gate structure, upgrading channel walls along Central Pond, restoring saltmarsh wetlands, and creating living shorelines to stabilize stream banks of Central Pond/Sawmill Brook.

Widening the bridge and increasing the span below, in conjunction with the removal of the existing tide gate, will increase hydraulic capacity and promote fish passage, and allow for the upstream area to support tidal marsh. Modeling indicates that increasing the culvert width at Central Street will also reduce upstream flooding of Sawmill Brook. The proposed activities will result in the restoration of 1,534 linear feet of stream connectivity, 1 acre of salt marsh, and improved fish passage, including for rainbow smelt, listed as a species of special concern by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The IIJA funding will be used alongside additional grants secured with the help of Tighe & Bond and other project partners, including $727,335 in funding awarded in previous years from CZM, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant (BRIC) Grant of more than $4.4 million.

Tighe & Bond has worked for many years on grant applications and implementation of engineering feasibility, alternatives analysis, and public outreach for this important project. The extended project team of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Coastal Resilience Advisory Group, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Mass Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), and representatives from the Town and Manchester Stream Team have enabled the bridge replacement and stream restoration to come to fruition.