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FHWA assists in the preservation of historic bridges and encourages States to incorporate the concepts of context sensitive design in the rehabilitation and reuse of historic bridges. Programs for historic bridge preservation include:
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- National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program provided funding to assist the States in their efforts to preserve, rehabilitate, or restore the Nation's historic covered bridges. Grants are no longer available since the program was discontinued under MAP-21. However, guidance produced during the life of the program is still available and includes the following:
- Transportation Enhancements Activities — The Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities offered funding opportunities to help expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through 12 eligible TE activities related to surface transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs, scenic and historic highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation, and environmental mitigation. TE projects must relate to surface transportation and must qualify under one or more of the 12 eligible categories.
State Bridge Programs
The Humpback Covered Bridge was built in 1857 for the old James River and Kanawha Turnpike Company. The center of the floor and roof is about four feet higher than at the ends. It is the only bridge of its design in the United States.
Many State DOTs have developed historic bridge programs. These programs aim to preserve the historic and cultural value of long-standing bridges where possible and expedite the consideration of historic bridges in project development and environmental review. For example, Indiana's Historic Bridge Program helps planners prioritize a list of bridges for preservation, while providing bridge owners incentives for this preservation.
To uncover more information about States' historic bridge programs, visit the State Practices Database or the following links.
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Additional Bridge Resources
- AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence includes information, resources, and best practices for a variety of historic preservation and cultural resource areas, including historic bridges) includes guidance, reports, best practices.
- A Context for Common Historic Bridge Types — NCHRP 25-25, Task 15, October 2005
- Best Practices for the Rehabilitation and Moving of Historic Metal Truss Bridges available from the Virginia Transportation Research Council.
- California Department of Transportation Digital Collections - historic bridges and tunnels
- Historic Bridges: A Heritage at Risk: A report on a workshop on the Preservation and Management of Historic Bridges held in Washington, DC, in December, 2003 is available at http://www.srifoundation.org at Library.
- Historic Bridge Foundation Bulletin
- Moving Henszey's Bridge, a case study describing the relocation and restoration of an 1869 wrought iron bowstring truss bridge in Pennsylvania.
- Recycled Railroad Bridges for Trails
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