Georgia is home to almost 15,000 bridges that cars, trucks and buses use every day. Over time these bridges must be replaced to ensure the state’s infrastructure remains in a state of good repair.
Some of these bridges are historic and, in compliance with U.S.C. Section 144(g), they must be made available for donation to a state, locality or responsible private entity. To streamline the advertising process, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) Office of Environmental Services is introducing a web-based forum to notify interested parties of bridges available for donation.
“The goal of Georgia DOT’s bridge marketing program is to preserve its historically significant bridges that no longer meet the safety requirements for vehicular traffic,” said Jim Pomfret, Georgia DOT’s assistant environmental administrator. “We created the website to modernize the legal requirement of advertising for these bridges compared to previous methods. It also makes it easy for interested parties to research and find the bridges in their areas that may be suitable for adoption.”
A bridge qualifies for adoption if it is over 50 years old, determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is proposed for replacement by the Georgia DOT. Entities looking to adopt a historic bridge are responsible for all future legal and financial aspects of the bridge including maintenance and preserving the features that make it historic. Some historic bridges, such as concrete bridges, are not suitable for adoption because they cannot easily be relocated without damage.
Once adopted a bridge must be made publicly accessible in a new location and for a new purpose such as part of a walking trail in a public park, but it may not be reused on a public road for vehicular purposes. Owners may store the bridge in a storage facility in order to raise funds for relocation at a new site.
Georgia DOT advertises historic bridges available for donation throughout the year. Bridges are advertised for 30 days.
To find more information on adopting a bridge, look at the bridges currently available or read the laws and regulations around historic bridges, visit gdothistoricalbridgemarketingprogram-gdot.hub.arcgis.com/