The National Academies

NCHRP 25-25/Task 088 [Completed]

Giving Away the Bridge: A National Synthesis of on Transferring Ownership of Historic Bridges
[ NCHRP 25-25 (Research for the AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: ICF Incorporated
Principal Investigator: Stephen Mikesell
Effective Date: 7/1/2013
Completion Date: 8/25/2014
Comments: Final deliverables available for AASHTO use

Since the late 1980s, federal law has required that a state, using federal funds to replace a historic bridge, shall first attempt to donate that bridge to a responsible party.  This study sought to answer three essential questions about this aspect of federal law. First, in general, how well is it working? Second, among the approaches taken by different states, which approaches seem to work and which do not? Third, are there specific recommendations for how this program could be made to work better?  As a general matter, the donation requirement can be shown to have preserved many bridges nationally and is a success in that regard. It is also a program whose implementation differs greatly from one state to the next and the success of which differs widely. The final report contains examples that have been shown to work well in a small number of states with active historic bridge preservation programs.  The contractor's final report may be accessed here:

https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP25-25(88)_FR.pdf .  A PowerPoint presentation summarizing the study and results is also availabe:


This study was requested by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and conducted as part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 25-25. The final deliverables are NOT official publications of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, or the National Academies.


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