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:
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 Alternatives Program — The Transportation Alternatives Program provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, community improvement activities, preservation of historic transportation facilities, and environmental mitigation
State Bridge Programs
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.
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/default.aspx.
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.
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.
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.