Louisiana DOTD and preservation office team up with FHWA on historic bridge management agreement


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are working together on a historic bridge management program to aid in preservation efforts for the structures.

The “Programmatic Agreement” was “executed” October 1 and will last 20 years. It sets up planning and procedures for managing the 122 historic bridges in the state. The agreement document can be downloaded here.

The State Historic Preservation Office and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Bridge Foundation also were involved in developing the agreement.

“The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as a signatory to the Programmatic Agreement, is pleased with the outcome. As one of only a few nationwide, this agreement sets in place a preservation priority bridge classification, funding and follow-up training that are creative and innovative, said Chris Wilson, project liaison to the advisory council.

“We encourage other states to consider our model. We look forward to assisting FHWA, Louisiana DOT and the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office in implementing the agreement.”

LDOTD will provide preventative maintenance, preservation and rehabilitation work on 20 Preservation Priority bridges the department owns during the course of the agreement.

“With the Programmatic Agreement in hand, the LDOTD is moving into the implementation phase,” said Amy Squitieri, vice president and group leader for Mead & Hunt, a consulting firm that helped prepare the Programmatic Agreement. “The completion of such plans, documentation and training will support the state in achieving its commitment to preservation of historic bridges.”

Through 2017, Mead & Hunt will assist in developing a historic bridge management plan statewide and for individual Preservation Priority Bridges. It will also provide training for means of historic bridge preventative maintenance, preservation and rehabilitation via existing Louisiana technical conferences, as well as host a website that tracks the inventory of pre1971 historic bridges and a webpage dedicated to historic bridge marketing.

In August, LDOTD released Crossing the Bayou: Louisiana’s Historic Bridges, a pdf book that provides a guide to 150 of the historic bridges in the state.