Oklahoma Department of Transportation Offers Free Historic Bridges

An alternative to demolition

May 27, 2022
An alternative to demolition
Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma DOT

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has historic bridges available for free thanks to their Historic Bridge Marketing Program.

ODOT's program offers an alternative to the demolition of Oklahoma's historic bridges when they are replaced by safer bridges. And, because the bridges represent a certain type of steel truss bridge which are typically ideal for light pedestrian use, they are included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

"The bridges will be donated to any party willing to relocate it and maintain it at a new location," states the information from ODOT. "Proposals to relocate the structure will be reviewed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office, and the Federal Highway Administration."

When looking to replace historic bridges, ODOT first looks at if the bridge can be brought up to today's safety standards. However, in most cases, upgrades to the historic bridges are too extensive, and alter the characteristics of the bridge, making them lose their historic feature. Luckily, this program helps preserve these bridges.

If you're in the market for a bridge, ODOT's Adopt-A-Bridge website has you covered, with each bridge being available for adoption.

Adopting a bridge enters the adopter into an agreement with ODOT saying they will maintain the features that make it historic while assuming all future financial and legal responsibility.

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Source: Oklahoma Department of Transportation

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