Louisiana Historic Bridge Inventory

Project Background

Historic bridges are an important part of Louisiana's culture and transportation history. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), in coordination with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (LASHPO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has commissioned a project to study historic bridges throughout the state and develop a process to manage and preserve these valued resources. Mead & Hunt will assist the LADOTD with the project and plans to conduct research on the history of Louisiana bridges, field survey a select number of bridges constructed through 1970, and provide recommendations for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and future preservation efforts. The chart below illustrates the various steps in the project and the timeline for completion.

How Can You Stay Informed About the Project?

This is an exciting project for our state and we appreciate your interest! The project team made four public presentations in the summer and fall of 2012 at locations throughout the state. Thanks to all who participated and those that submitted bridge information forms! We received a lot of valuable information about historic bridges in the state. As the project progresses towards its final step, there are several ways that you can stay informed about the project:

  • Email updates – The project team will send out periodic updates regarding project news, progress, and completed steps/documents. Contact the project team to have your email addressed added to the contact list.
  • Website updates – Periodic updates will be posted to this website in the Project Update section below.
  • Completed documents – As major project milestones are met, reports will be posted to this website for downloading in the Completed Documents section below.

11/7/14 -
A PowerPoint presentation highlighting some past and upcoming historic bridge rehabilitation projects is now posted to the project website. The name of the presentation is Accomplishments in Historic Bridge Preservation Nov 2014. An exciting outcome of the current project and the Programmatic Agreement (PA) currently under development is guidance for future preservation and rehabilitation of the state’s historic bridges. The PA will build upon previous efforts and help the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) continue to preserve historic bridges across the state. As a reminder, any comments the public wishes to share with the project team regarding the draft PA are due by November 14, 2014.

6/30/2014 -
A recording of the May 29th presentation in Baton Rouge that highlighted the results of which historic bridges have the best potential for future preservation is now available at the bottom of the project webpage. The presentation title is “Recommendations for Preservation Priority Bridges.” The FHWA, SHPO, LADOTD, and consulting parties continue to consult on the Programmatic Agreement (PA) for Louisiana’s historic bridges. The PA is expected to be finalized in September and will outline future program planning and procedures for managing historic bridges throughout the state.

– Agencies approved a methodology to identify the preservation potential of Louisiana’s historic bridge population. This methodology provides a structured approach that is both transparent and justifiable. The full methodology report is available for download in PDF format in the Completed Documents section below. Applying the methodology, qualified structural engineers and professional historians have analyzed current bridge inspection data and information gathered during field review to categorize each bridge based on engineering and historical considerations. 

12/12/2013 - An updated version of the historic context report is available in the Completed Documents section below.

10/28/2013 - The Federal Highway Administration made its final National Register eligibility determinations for historic highway bridges in Louisiana and the State Historic Preservation Office concurred with those determinations. The National Register Eligibility Determination Report for Louisiana’s Pre-1971 Highway Bridges is available for download in PDF format in the Completed Documents section below. The report includes an explanation of how the significance of eligible bridges was determined, and presents the final National Register eligibility determinations.

6/13/2013 – A recording of the presentation of eligibility recommendations for pre-1971 Louisiana bridges is available here.

Have questions or need more information?

For more information on this project or to receive periodic e-mail updates on this project, e-mail the project team or
call (225) 242-4517.