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), commissioned a project to study historic bridges throughout the state and develop a process to manage and preserve these valued resources. Assisting the LADOTD with the project, Mead & Hunt conducted research on the history of Louisiana bridges, field surveyed certain bridges constructed through 1970, and recommended bridges eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The publication – Crossing the Bayou: Louisiana’s Historic Bridges – highlights bridge-building in Louisiana and provides a guide to historic bridges that represent significant engineering designs, important trends and historical events. The publication is available here.
A Programmatic Agreement (PA) for Louisiana’s historic bridges outlines future program planning and procedures for managing historic bridges throughout Louisiana and will assist in streamlining the regulatory process for bridges and future preservation efforts. The PA was executed on September 21, 2015. Highlights of commitments in the PA include:
- Statewide management plan for historic bridges
- Individual management plans for Preservation Priority bridges
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documentation for a variety of bridge types throughout the state
Ongoing steps in the project will include implementation of these commitments and more as outlined in the approved PA, which is located here.
How Can You Obtain Information About the Project?
This is an exciting project for our state and we appreciate your interest! There are several ways that you can stay informed about the project:
- Email updates – Contact the project team to have your email address added to the contact list.
- Website updates – Periodic updates will be posted to this website in the Project Update section below.
- Completed documents – Reports prepared during the course of the project are posted to this website for downloading in the Completed Documents section below.
September 2016 – The first group of individual historic bridge management plans are complete and posted in the Completed Documents section below (e.g., 200868_Bobtown Bridge_MgmtPlan). A separate plan is being prepared for each Preservation Priority Bridge. The plans include historic and engineering information specific to the bridge, its existing use and condition, and assessment of preservation needs, including budgeting cost estimates. The plans were completed in fulfillment of the Programmatic Agreement and are used in conjunction with the Statewide Historic Bridge Management Plan. With the first year of PA execution complete, an annual report has been prepared and is also posted below.
June 2016 – The Management Plan for Historic Bridges Statewide is complete and posted in the Completed Documents section below. The plan provides guidance to bridge owners on how to properly undertake preservation activities for Louisiana’s historic bridges with the purpose of encouraging their continued use.
January 2016 – Pre-1946 Timber Review is complete and posted in the Completed Documents section below.
September 21, 2015 – The Programmatic Agreement for Louisiana’s historic bridges has been executed. The Programmatic Agreement is available in the Completed Documents section below. Please note that the National Trust for Historic Preservation is circulating the document internally for signature.
2015 – Crossing the Bayou: Louisiana’s Historic Bridges publication is available in the Completed Documents section below.
2015 – Results: Application of the Methodology to Identify Preservation Priority Bridges identifies those bridges where the state has committed to preservation. National Register status identifies historic bridges. These reports are available in the Completed Documents section below.
2014 - 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 is guidance for future preservation and rehabilitation of the state’s historic bridges. The Programmatic Agreement (PA) builds upon previous efforts and helps the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) continue to preserve historic bridges across the state.
Information on Louisiana Historic Bridge Marketing For Alternate Use Program is located 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.