Louisiana statewide historic bridge Programmatic Agreement announced
Thursday, October 01, 2015 at 1:38:30 PM
BATON ROUGE, La.- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office, announced today the execution of a statewide Programmatic Agreement for historic bridges. The agreement, the culmination of a nearly five-year effort, marks an important step in the long-term preservation of Louisiana’s historic bridges.

The agreement outlines program planning and procedures for managing 122 historic bridges throughout Louisiana. It achieves DOTD and FHWA’s goal to streamline compliance with the Section 106 regulatory process and focus resources on preservation of historic bridges that will be retained in long-term use.

“The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as a signatory to the Programmatic Agreement, is pleased with the outcome. As one of only a few nationwide, this agreement sets in place a preservation priority bridge classification, funding and follow-up training that are creative and innovative. We encourage other states to consider our model,” said Chris Wilson, Project Liaison to the Advisory Council. “We look forward to assisting FHWA, Louisiana DOT and the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office in implementing the agreement.”

DOTD is committing to the preventative maintenance, preservation and/or rehabilitation of 20 DOTD-owned Preservation Priority Bridges for the 20-year duration of the agreement. Additionally, DOTD intends to fulfill its commitments when taking actions regarding Preservation Priority Bridges whether or not the state’s apportioned federal funds are used, including when Section 106 requirements do not apply.

To encourage local owners to follow the state’s lead, DOTD notified the non-DOTD owners of 13 additional Preservation Priority Bridges that these historic bridges must be retained in long-term use and that they must adhere to the stipulations outlined in the Programmatic Agreement to remain eligible for the Louisiana’s apportioned federal funds.

The State Historic Preservation Office is signatory to the Programmatic Agreement, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Bridge Foundation also participated in consultation to help reach this momentous agreement.

“With the Programmatic Agreement in hand, the DOTD is moving into the implementation phase,” said Amy Squitieri, Vice President and Group Leader for Mead & Hunt, a nationwide consulting firm that helped prepare the Programmatic Agreement. “The completion of such plans, documentation and training will support the state in achieving its commitment to preservation of historic bridges.”

Squitieri continued that over the next two years, Mead & Hunt will help the state of Louisiana meet the following commitments:
• Develop a statewide historic bridge management plan.
• Prepare individual management plans for Preservation Priority bridges.
• Prepare Historic American Engineering Record documentation of a variety of different types.
• Provide education on approaches to preventative maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation of historic bridges and related processes through the state’s technical conference series.
• Maintain a list of parties with potential use for a relocated historic bridge should one become available.
• Continue to host a project website that makes available results of the Historic Bridge Inventory of pre-1971 bridges, and to maintain a dedicated Historic Bridge Marketing webpage.

The executed Programmatic Agreement is now available on the project website.

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Media Contacts:

Stacie Palmer
DOTD Project Manager and Environmental Impact Specialist DCL

Amy Squitieri
Mead & Hunt Project Manager