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Example Statewide PA For Management of Historic Bridges - Indiana Division

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Indiana Division, FHWA, Programmatic Agreement for the Management and Preservation of Indiana’s Historic Bridges

Description of Program or Undertaking

The Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the Management and Preservation of Indiana’s Historic Bridges to govern the management of historic bridge projects in Indiana and focus preservation efforts on those historic bridges within the state that are considered excellent examples of a given type and suitable candidates for preservation. The PA requires FHWA and the Indiana Department of Transportation (DOT) to work with a Historic Bridge Task Group to develop key documents and provides the Task Group with a role in monitoring the success of the Agreement over time. The PA requires the Indiana DOT to:

  • complete a statewide survey of historic bridges on public roads and public right-of-way that were built in or before 1965;
  • complete National Register eligibility recommendations for all documented bridges;
  • identify criteria for selecting a limited number of National Register eligible bridges of each bridge type for preservation; and apply these criteria to develop lists of Select and Non-Select Bridges; and 
  • develop Standards for Rehabilitation of Bridges on Low-Volume Roads, National Register eligibility recommendations.

All of these tasks must be completed in consultation with the Task Group, including the SHPO and FHWA. The PA streamlines the review process for Non-Select bridges if there is determined to be no feasible and prudent alternative to demolition. The PA prohibits FHWA from participating in a project that will result in the demolition of a Select Bridge. If rehabilitation is determined not to be feasible and prudent, Select Bridges must be bypassed or relocated for another use.  

Why This is a Good Model for Other States

The PA is an excellent example of how to streamline consultation on routine bridge projects, while ensuring that the DOT identifies and seeks to preserve the best examples of historic bridges in the State. The final PA was the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the Historic Bridge Task Group (made up of the ACHP, Indiana SHPO, InDOT, Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Historic Spans Task Force, Indian Association of County Highway Engineers and Supervisors, Indiana Association of County Commissioners, and Senatory Richard Lugar’s Office.

Updated November 27, 2008

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