How to apply to the Local Bottleneck Reduction Program

The Local Bottleneck Reduction Program offers one application round per fiscal year.

The Local Bottleneck Reduction Program offers one application round per fiscal year. The application is submitted through the Massachusetts Project Intake Tool, also known as MaPIT. Applicants must first register for a GeoDOT account in order to enter the MaPIT system. If you already have a GeoDOT account with access to MaPIT, you may continue to use those credentials to submit an application. Request a GeoDOT account online. Be sure to select MaPIT access under "Application Access." Creating a GeoDOT account takes about three to five business days.

Only municipalities and municipally owned roadways are eligible for this program and applications must be submitted by an authorized municipal official. See the Program Overview page for more details on eligibility.

Table of Contents

Program deadlines

Application Round opens Application Deadline Award Notification
January 3, 2023 March 31, 2023 2 – 3 months

Request a GeoDOT account online. After creating a GeoDOT account with MaPIT access, navigate to the MaPIT website and log in using your credentials. Near the top of the webpage, select the "Initiate Workflow" button. A screen will pop-up displaying various workflow types. Select "Local Aid." The project application will now load. At the top of the window, the application will ask the proponent to designate the Grant Type. Select "Bottleneck." Fill in the rest of the requested information on this page of the form. When completed, select "Save and Next" towards the bottom of the screen.

The MaPIT Sketching Tool will now appear on the screen. This step requires applicants to sketch the study area/intersections for which they are requesting improvements. To begin sketching, first zoom in on your project area. Then click on the pink polygon at the bottom of the screen labeled "Sketching tool" to begin drawing. Click on the map to begin drawing the parameters of the study area. When finished, double-click the shape to close the tool. After drawing the polygon, a window will pop-up allowing you to edit the selected roadways by checking or unchecking roads from the displayed list. Make any necessary changes and hit "Select." Repeat this process until all bottlenecks included on the application are drawn, as applicable. Polygons may be deleted and redrawn. Hit "Save and Next" when done.

At the Geoprocessing step, MaPIT will screen the supplied project locations against its various geographic layers, such as school locations, wetland areas, Environmental Justice Communities, and much more. A green button will appear towards the center of the screen labeled "Click here to run Geoprocessing." Click the button. The Geoprocessing tool will automatically run. This may take a few moments. As the tool runs, a screen will pop-up listing all of the geographic layers which intersect with your study area. This is provided for informational purposes only. When complete, hit "Save and Next."

The final step of the application requires information about the existing traffic signal(s) in the study area as well as other local data. Complete the form to the best of your ability. When finished, double check your work. You may review your work in previous steps by clicking on the various application steps on the left side of the screen. When you're ready, navigate back to the final step and select "Submit for Acceptance" towards the bottom left side of the screen. Your application has now been submitted to MassDOT for review. Applicants can expect to learn whether their application was selected for further consideration via email notification within one to two months.

When working through the application, you may save your work and exit the project application at any time by clicking "Save and Close" towards the top of the screen. Your work will be saved and can be edited for submission later.

Additional Resources

Program Questions

  • Who can apply?

    Applications may only be submitted by municipal officials. Applications can be submitted jointly by multiple municipalities to address a bottleneck that encompasses more than one jurisdiction. A municipality may also apply jointly with a Regional Transit Authority to address transit related bottleneck conditions. Municipalities that submit a joint application, or collaborate with a Regional Transit Authority, must select one municipality to be the lead applicant.

  • What is the funding limit?

    The maximum grant award to any municipality is $500,000 in a single fiscal year. However, the maximum award is not guaranteed and will vary based on the scope of work determined necessary to improve the bottleneck location. The municipality is responsible for any costs above the awarded amount.

  • When is the application deadline?

    The Fiscal Year 2023 application deadline is March 31, 2023.

  • What if I'm not sure about the best project type to improve an intersection?

    That's fine! Municipalities are not required to apply for a certain treatment or project type. However, municipalities should consider whether an intersection can reasonably expect to be improved through the eligible project types before completing the application.

  • My application was selected to advance. What's next?

    After an application is selected, awarded municipalities will be assigned to a MassDOT-led signal and roadway design consultant. Each Fiscal Year, MassDOT onboards several consultant teams to conduct work through the Local Bottleneck Reduction Program. No funds are provided to the municipality for design.

    All scoping and design work will generally begin with a site visit to assess conditions of the project/study area more fully and determine a spectrum of improvements. This may require coordination with the municipality to provide access to signal boxes and/or related equipment and information. Learn more about advancing approved projects in the Project Implementation section of the Program Overview page.
  • Is design included in my grant award?

    Grant awards are for construction/implementation costs only. However, applications selected to advance in the program will be provided with a MassDOT-led design consultant who will complete any required design work at no charge to the municipality. Design work does not count against the grant award.

  • My project's scope and/or design was approved to advance. When do we receive the funding?

    This is a reimbursement-based funding program, meaning that approved costs are reimbursed after expenses are incurred. Municipalities can request reimbursement at any time during project implementation. Reimbursements are processed by the State Aid Engineer assigned to the municipality's MassDOT District, similar to the Chapter 90 Program. Learn more about reimbursements in the Requesting Reimbursement section of the Program Overview page.

  • How are projects implemented?

    Please visit the Project Implementation section of the Program Overview page.

  • What if we have a bottleneck that requires more substantial work than what is currently eligible through this program?

    If an application is initially selected, but the site visit and initial scoping indicates that the bottleneck cannot be improved within the parameters of the program, the project may not advance. Projects that are above the maximum grant allowance of $500,000 may only proceed if the municipality is able to pay for additional costs. In these cases, the municipality must be able to demonstrate availability of funds to contribute to the completion of the project.


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