When Missouri bridge projects require the removal of historic bridges, the Missouri Department of Transportation or its local transportation partners must make them available for use by others.
Federal law requires any state proposing demolition of a historic bridge involved in a bridge replacement project using federal funds to “first make the historic bridge available for donation to a State, locality, or responsible private entity” provided the recipient agrees to maintain the bridge and the features that give it historic significance and assume all future legal and financial responsibility for the bridge [see 23 USC 144(g)].
Bridges advertised here are listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and are available for reuse in place or relocation to a suitable location. The Missouri Department of Transportation and its local transportation partners are seeking proposals for their reuse. Because they are historic, preservation covenants to help preserve them and the features which make them historic, may apply. The Bridge Marketing Plan provides additional information on the overall process.
Up to 80% of the demolition costs (what would have been spent to demolish the bridges) is potentially available to reimburse recipients for reusing them. This funding is primarily available if the recipient is removing the bridge from its current location themselves. If the applicant needs the bridge removed and set aside for later pick-up, the funding is not available since the removal of the bridge is construed as a “demolition” activity. If these demolition funds are used by the recipient, Federal law prohibits using any other Title 23 Federal transportation funds for the bridge in the future.
Therefore, applicants should consider if other programs might be more beneficial for their project. The applicant may use other Federal funds [other than demolition funds] to relocate bridges, such as Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) or Recreation Trails Program (RTP) funds.
Applicants should also be aware that “Buy America” provisions of Federal grants will apply, even for projects involving historic bridges. Waivers for the Buy America provisions can be obtained, but the process takes 6-12 months. This should be factored into projected schedules for grant timelines.
Bridge ownership will be transferred to the recipient and the new owner must assume all legal and financial responsibility for the structure.
Bridges listed online at https://www.modot.org/free-bridges are available for reuse or relocation. Proposals for their reuse, or the reuse of individual spans of multi-span bridges, should be submitted to the contact listed on each individual bridge page by selecting a bridge below.
Download the Proposal Checklist to assist in the preparation of your proposal.