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The Federal Highway Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation have joined forces in an effort to preserve some of Indiana’s historic bridges. The two agencies have created the “Historic Bridge Marketing Program” -- an online database of iron, stone, and concrete bridges that are facing future bypassing or demolition. The intention is to locate parties who would be interested in either maintaining or relocating the bridge so the resource is not lost.
The program began in 2001 when the Federal Highway Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation were notified of the alarming rate at which Indiana was losing its historic bridges. Previous procedure had been to advertise in state and local newspapers for sixty days in attempts to find a new owner for an endangered bridge. However, this time frame was inadequate to locate an interested group and for the party to raise the necessary funding. Therefore, this new online marketing program was developed. All of the endangered bridges are indexed on the website http://www.in.gov/indot/7035.htm as soon as engineering recommendations have been received and remain available until approximately three months before the project plans and specifications go to the Contract Section of INDOT.
To help interested parties accumulate the necessary funding to rehabilitate a bridge either at the present location or elsewhere, INDOT has made the properties listed in the Historic Bridge Marketing Program a priority for the Transportation Enhancement funds.
For more information about the Historic Bridge Marketing Program, contact Robert Dirks of the Federal Highway Administration 317/226-7492 or Janice Osadczuk of the Indiana Department of Transportation 317/ 232-5112.
The DHPA also has a database of bridges, created with a grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation. This database lists information about a bridge such as date of construction, truss type, location, body of water it spans, builder (if known), and its National Register status. For information about this database contact the DHPA at 317/232-1646.