Methods of Modifying Historic Bridges for Contemporary Use

Report No: 80-R48

Published in 1980

About the report:

Studied by a team of experts in the fields of history, bridge engineering, architecture, and computer analysis were 21 old truss bridges of historical importance located in Virginia. These old bridges are narrow and have low load-carrying capacities, making them targets for replacement and destruction. On a case-by-case basis, the bridges were investigated as to their potentials for strengthening and widening for normal vehicular use. Also explored were non-vehicular uses as for conversion into craft centers, museums, restaurants, housing, bicycle structures, and the like, at either the present site or a new one. The wide array of possibilities for continued use of the old bridges described in this report show that old bridges do indeed have much useful life left in them and it is not always necessary that they be demolished.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

William Zuk, Howard Newlon, Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E.

Last updated: January 25, 2024

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