Historic Bridges in Texas: The Post-War Years

Bridges in Texas built after World War II represent a rich example of important innovations by renowned Texas bridge designers. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Texas Historical Commission (THC), and the Historic Bridge Foundation (HBF) have collaborated to identify these bridges, evaluate their historic significance, and develop a plan to manage them.

How were significant bridges identified?

Texas retains approximately 15,000 bridges built between 1945 and 1965. Over the past several years, TxDOT researched these bridges, interviewed retired bridge engineers, and evaluated the bridges for National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) significance. TxDOT finalized NRHP eligibility determinations, and the THC and HBF concurred that more than 100 of the post-1945 bridges are eligible for listing on the NRHP for their historical and engineering significance.
Why are these bridges historically significant?
These bridges can be historically significant for a range of reasons including:
Association with important post-World War II highway programs
Early use of newly developed bridge types or construction materials
Award-winning design or design by an important bridge engineer

How will TxDOT manage these historic bridges?

TxDOT, the THC, and the HBF have established a treatment plan for these 100-plus historic bridges. This plan includes dividing the bridges into three groups based on their historic and/or engineering significance. This approach would dictate the type of regulatory compliance and mitigation that TxDOT would be required to complete if any future projects would result in adverse effects to the bridges. These three groups are:
Group I: Bridges requiring TxDOT’s full compliance and mitigation under federal law
Group II: Bridges receiving programmatic mitigation under this public involvement effort, and no further mitigation is required under federal law
Group III: Bridges for which existing documentation is sufficient mitigation for any future adverse effects

What happens now?

TxDOT, THC, and the HBF want your opinion on the identified post-1945 historic bridges and the proposed treatment approach. Please complete the comment cards available at this open house or visit the TxDOT or THC websites below to email a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!

Want more information?

Please click here to view a detailed presentation about post-war historic bridges in Texas.

TxDOT’s website: http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/statewide/historic-bridges.html
THC’s website: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/learn/historic-bridges-texas
Contact: TxDOT environmental consultant, Maryellen Russo 512-264-1095 or mrusso @ blantonassociates.com