In 2014, TxDOT began a multi-year planning process for all historic bridges in the state that integrates:
Challenges for historic bridges include new demands driven by evolving economic development needs, changing population in rural areas and demands on public funding. TxDOT strives to involve many points of view in efforts to assess and plan for a historic bridge’s potential future.
Sometimes a bridge can be successfully rehabbed for ongoing vehicular service, such as the recent Piano Bridge project completed in partnership with Fayette County. Sometimes it can be successfully adapted for a new use such as San Antonio’s Hay Street bridge adaption as a hike-and-bike facility. Details of this planning process are embedded in the recently revised Historic Bridge Manual.
Postwar Historic Bridges
TxDOT, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and Historic Bridge Foundation (HBF) worked together to determine which bridges in Texas built between 1945 and 1965 are the most significant. More than 100 of these bridges were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) for their historic and engineering significance.
During the summer of 2014, we jointly conducted a series of open houses to discuss a treatment plan for mid-20th century historic bridges in Texas. This plan segments the bridges into three groups based on their relative historic and/or engineering significance. This approach would mandate the type of compliance and mitigation that TxDOT applied to any further projects that resulted in adverse effects to the NRHP-eligible post-1945 bridges.
Information distributed at the open houses is listed below:
The purpose of the open houses was to provide information about how TxDOT determined NRHP eligibility for the post-1945 bridges and to gain feedback on the proposed treatment plan. We continue to seek public opinion on the identified post-1945 historic bridges and the proposed treatment approach. If you did not join us at an open house, you have several options to give us your input.
Fill out and mail to:
Director of Cultural Resources Management
Environmental Affairs Division
Texas Department of Transportation
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701-2483