A Survey of Movable Span Bridges in Virginia

Report No: 98-R28

Published in 1998

About the report:

Bridges are among the cultural resources that must be considered for historic significance under the Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Virginia Transportation Research Council conducted a study of Virginia's movable span bridges in 1996-1997, thus establishing an historic context for all such bridges in Virginia. This study was carried out in fulfillment of a 1994 Memorandum of Agreement between VDOT, the FHWA, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The Memorandum of Agreement provided for the initiation of a project to identify and field survey all movable-span bridges within the VDOT transportation system in Virginia over the age of forty years, and to develop an assessment and management plan for each of these bridges. Due to the small number (eleven) of pre-1960 movable-span bridges in Virginia, the project was expanded to include field survey of all twenty extant movable span highway bridges in Virginia, as well as documentary research into movable span bridge types, data tabulation, and comparison of the resulting information on movable span chronology and technology. The information gathered during the survey provided a means for an evaluation for historical significance by the Historic Structures Task Group (an interdisciplinary historic transportation study committee) and the State Historic Preservation Officer. Out of eleven extant, pre-1960 movable span bridges under VDOT ownership or management, none were determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, reflecting the extremely commonplace engineering and technology of these structures.

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

Kenneth M. Clark

Last updated: December 15, 2023

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