Environmental Review Toolkit
Historic Preservation

Historic Bridges

Technical Assistance

photograph of the Pine Brook Covered Bridge
Built in 1872, the Pine Brook Covered Bridge crosses Pine Brook in Waitsfield, Vermont. The bridge is of king post truss design and is one of only two historic covered bridges left in the state with the king post design.

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:

State Bridge Programs

photograph of  Wilson's Bridge
Wilson Bridge near Delphi, Indiana was named after an adjoining property owner who petitioned for its construction in 1897. The bridge retains its original truss members and decoratively latticed guardrails. It was rehabilitated, re-painted, and re-opened in 2008.

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.

  • new Highways Through History Website Launch. The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) recently launched their Highways Through History website. Deployment of the Highways Through History website satisfies outstanding FHWA and WVDOT mitigation commitments on numerous bridge, culvert, and tunnel rehabilitation and replacement projects. The website showcases historic bridges, culverts, and tunnels throughout the state and it can be accessed online at http://www.highwaysthroughhistory.com.
  • Louisiana DOTD published Crossing the Bayou: Louisiana's Historic Bridges. The richly illustrated publication highlights bridge building in Louisiana and provides a guide to the state's 150 historic bridges that represent significant engineering designs, important trends, and historical events. The publication is searchable by name, parish, or type; profiles each historic bridge with a photo, description, history and importance; and identifies the state's priority preservation bridges.

To uncover more information about States' historic bridge programs, visit the State Practices Database or the following links.

Additional Bridge Resources

For questions or feedback on this subject matter content, please contact David Clarke.

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