Wanted: New homes for historic bridges

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation is trying to find homes for historic bridges that have outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced.

The agency’s Office of Environmental Services announced Wednesday the launching of a website that will spread the word about historic bridges that are available for relocation and preservation.

“The goal of Georgia DOT’s bridge marketing program is to preserve historically significant bridges that no longer meet the safety requirements for vehicular traffic,” said Jim Pomfret, the agency’s assistant environmental administrator.

“We created the website to modernize the legal requirement of advertising for these bridges. … 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 more than 50 years old, determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and is proposed for replacement by the DOT.

Once adopted, a bridge must be made publicly accessible in a new location and be repurposed for other uses, such as becoming part of a walking trail in a public park.

Entities interested in adopting a historic bridge must be willing to maintain the structure and preserve the features that make it historic.

Owners may keep newly adopted bridges in a storage facility while they’re raising money for relocating the structures.

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