MODOT giving away bridges for free
HOWARD COUNTY - The Missouri Department of Transportation is giving away eight bridges to the public that are currently listed or eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic places.
MODOT is planning on building replacement bridges, which will be partially funded by federal money.
This means federal law applies, and it requires the department to “first make the historic bridge available for donation to a State, locality, or responsible private entity,” as long as the new owner agrees to preserve the historic nature of the bridge and take over maintenance.
That maintenance will come at a cost.
“I would think twice before owning it,” retiree David Fleisher said. “I don't have too much room in my fixed income to maintain a bridge.”
For those who have the resources to maintain a bridge, all they need to do is fill out an application.
For most bridges, the new owner will need to disassemble it and put it back together in a new location.
If no one applies to take ownership of the bridge by the deadline, MODOT will demolish it.
“We'd prefer to see the whole bridge moved,” MODOT Historic Preservation Manager Mike Meinkoth said. “However, using some historic elements is better than seeing the whole thing scrapped.”
“I love Missouri, and I would like to see it maintained and not messed up with a lot of non-good looking modern stuff,” he said. “If they could keep it instead of building new ones that don't look as good, I think that'd be great.”
Two of the bridges are in mid-Missouri. One is the Route 40 Bridge over the Katy Trail and Salt Creek, about three miles west of Rocheport. The other bridge is the Long Branch Bridge in Monroe County, about 13 miles southwest of Paris.