Culvert Structural Assessment

In March 2015, three students from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) - Ryan Bagge, Seamus Gallagher, and Kevin Galvin- prepared a report entitled "Designing a Culvert Management System for the Town of Spencer, MA".  

This report was the culmination of a Major Qualifying Project to fulfill the students' requirements for Bachelor of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering from WPI.  

Information from this Project has been presented here for the use and information of other Central MA Regional Stormwater Committee members and partners.


Assessing infrastructure is a responsibility held by the government at the local, state, and federal level. It is a critical duty that requires collaboration of information and methods between agencies.

The Town of Spencer recognized a need to expand the existing inventory of the Town’s infrastructure, specifically their culverts. The Town also recognized an interest in becoming involved in the River and Stream Continuity Project (RSCP) that is gaining recognition throughout the eastern United States.

The RSCP is an assessment procedure and database that mainly focuses on the environmental impact of road-stream crossings, but the Town of Spencer also recognized the importance of including a structural assessment for culverts. This MQP team was tasked with designing such an assessment and providing recommendations to the Town.   


Twenty-two road-stream crossings were assessed for the Town of Spencer, MA and the River and Stream Continuity Database. Each culvert, bridge, or dam was profiled to identify any constraints and possible considerations for future maintenance or replacement.

A structural module was designed to assess the current condition of the crossings and work alongside the River and Stream Continuity Project, which does not have a structural component.

The resulting analysis was presented to the attention of the Spencer Water Department.  

Full Reports and Results

The deliverables from this project can be downloaded as follows:

  1. Full Report
  2. Appendix D: Culvert Assessment Instructions
  3. Appendix G: Culvert Assessment Form (we have also incorporated this into CMRSWC's PeopleGIS system: please see your "Links" page)
  4. Spencer Culvert Profiles