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About Us > Preservation Initiatives > Historic Spans Task Force

Historic Spans Task Force


 Furnas Mill Bridge

Indiana has lost 65% of the iron and steel bridges built between 1860 and 1930. The work of Indiana Landmarks' Historic Spans Task Force ensures that outstanding, National Register-listed bridges like Furnas Mill Bridge in Johnson County cannot be demolished using federal funds and will receive incentives for repair and restoration.

Protecting bridges

Indiana’s historic bridges are the architectural equivalent of an endangered species. We’ve lost hundreds of bridges and those that remain often face replacement by characterless modern spans.


Determined to find a comprehensive solution rather than fight preservation battles bridge-by-bridge, Indiana Landmarks formed the Spans Task Force. The group formed an alliance with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the state Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (Indiana’s SHPO) to develop a comprehensive historic bridge rehabilitation program for Indiana.


The Programmatic Agreement that resulted from the Historic Spans Task Force’s advocacy will serve as a model, spelling out a process to help Indiana and other states preserve historic bridges:

  • Establish comprehensive and consistent historic review criteria
  • Conduct a statewide historic spans survey and review
  • Recognize the need for early involvement of local & state preservation advocates in transportation projects involving historic bridges
  • Establish the necessary oversight to ensure consistency and quality of Section 106/4F management by consulting engineers
  • Greater oversight of Section 106/4F process by FHWA
  • Establish funding sources and formulas for the rehabilitation of historic bridges
  • Reflect AASHTO Guidelines for Low-Volume Local Roads in Indiana’s bridge inspection and funding process

For more information on the Historic Spans Task Force, contact the regional office nearest you.

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