Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Project development

Environmental process | Environmental review

Historic Bridges


Preserving key historic bridges is important to Minnesota’s engineering heritage and generates tourism and economic benefits for local communities. Evaluating bridges before projects begin allows us to continue to preserve these important structures.

When to use this subject

There are over 200 historic bridges in the state.  In 2008, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), United States Army Corps of Engineers (COE), and MnDOT signed a historic bridge programmatic agreement to streamline the federal historic review of both MnDOT and local bridge projects when federal funds or permits are involved.  This agreement eliminates the need to evaluate every bridge over 50 years old before projects can begin, thereby reducing costs and delays.  Bridges built prior to 1971 have already been evaluated for possible historic value.

For any project with a bridge that is 45 years old or older, contact MnDOT Cultural Resource Unit for further information on eligibility, funding implications, and Historic Bridge Processes.

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

The state’s base assumption is that all historic bridges commencing the Section 106 process will be preserved.  In other words, a project proposer enters this process with the mindset of finding ways to retain a historic structure in its current use.  Start the process during the scoping phase, refer to the scoping section of TPDP, and involve the Bridge Office and Office of Environmental Stewardship's Cultural Resources Unit early in the process.

Organizations involved