Description of the Bridge

The US 165 Union Pacific Rail Road Overpass Bridge near Bonita (Structure Number 05340160509191, Recall Number 023620, Louisiana Historic Resource Inventory No. 34-00167) is a two lane, precast concrete I-beam with a steel I-beam main span bridge constructed in 1939. It is located near Bonita in Morehouse Parish (approximately latitude N 32.886667, longitude -91.72005). The overall bridge length is approximately 390 feet with a 23-foot clear roadway width.

National Register Eligibility

This bridge is eligible for the National Register under Criterion A: Politics/Government and Transportation. This steel I-beam bridge has significance for its association with important trends or events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of Louisiana history. The significance of this grade separation structure is directly related to its funding through the U.S. Works Program Grade Crossing program during the Depression-era to provide safe railroad-highway crossings. In the 1930s, increased attention was given to creating grade separations between railway lines and roads and specific legislation was passed to provide funds for highway-rail grade separations through the NIRA (1933), Hayden Cartwright Act (1934), and Emergency Relief Appropriation Act (1935). The U.S. Works Grade Crossing Program resulted from the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act funding. This bridge’s association with a federal Depression-era program is documented in the Louisiana Highway Commission Biennial reports. The bridge exhibits alterations to the railing with the addition of guardrail that results in a minor loss of integrity, but continues to convey its significance as the work of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act.

Status of the Bridge

The bridge is owned by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and currently carries US 165 vehicular traffic over the Union Pacific Rail Road. LADOTD in conjunction with the FHWA proposes replacement of the bridge under State Project No H.000665 and Federal Project Number H000665. A number of alternatives have been considered, including rehabilitation of the bridge or demolition with replacement of the bridge. The preferred alternative includes removal and replacement of the bridge. The estimated replacement date is to be determined.

As a mitigation stipulation for the Adverse Effect to this historic bridge, the bridge is being marketed to another entity for historic preservation. If ownership of the bridge is not transferred to another entity for moving to another location for an alternate use, the bridge will be demolished along with the other portions of the bridge.

Re-use of the bridge as a non-vehicular bridge is encouraged. If you are interested in acquiring this bridge for adaptive, non-vehicular use please read the stipulations for bridge ownership transfer below. This bridge will be marketed until May 23, 2020.

Contact Kelsey Johnson at kelsey.johnson@la.gov or 225-242-4505 by May 23, 2020 if you are interested in acquiring this bridge for non-vehicular, adaptive re-use or if you have questions on submitting a proposal.

Dimensions of the Bridge

The overall bridge length is approximately 390 feet with a 23-foot clear roadway width. The actual span of the bridge is 70 feet long.

Funds for Relocation and Reuse of the Bridge

Funding that would be used for demolition of historic bridges can be used for its preservation at a new location. The estimated cost of demolition of the US 165 UP R.R. Overpass Bridge is $220,740.00. An amount not exceeding this estimated cost of demolition ($220,740.00) would be made available to the new owner as a reimbursement for relocation and historic preservation of the bridge.

Stipulations for Bridge Ownership Transfer

The entity receiving the bridge must agree to the following:

The new owner would be charged the salvage value of the bridge which is estimated to be $3,735.34. (According to Title 7 Section 14(A) of the Louisiana Constitution, property or things of value of the state shall not be donated to or for any person, association, or corporation, public or private).

The entity must accept full ownership and all financial and legal responsibilities, including, but not limited to, maintenance, liability, and permitting.

The entity shall ensure that the transferred bridge is closed to motorized vehicular traffic (e.g., cars and trucks).

If the bridge is relocated, the relocation, reassembly and necessary permitting will be the responsibility of the entity taking ownership.

The proposed use of the transferred bridge will be subject to the approval of FHWA Louisiana Division (lead federal agency), LADOTD (lead state agency), and Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (LASHPO).

The entity will be required to execute a preservation agreement that will include the above stipulations.

Submitting a Proposal

Interested parties must submit a proposal to LADOTD in writing (either by email or letter) of their interest by May 23, 2019. Please reference project number H.000665 in your proposal.

Send proposals:

Via email: Kelsey.johnson@la.gov

Via mail:

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Section 28

P.O. Box 94245

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245

Attn: Kelsey Johnson

The proposal must address:

Location and use: Where will the bridge be relocated, what will be its new use, and how it will be made accessible to the public?

Setting: Will the bridge continue to maintain a similar crossing as its original site, such as a water crossing or as a separation structure? Does the proposed relocation site have a similar setting as the original?

Assumption of responsibilities: The new owner must demonstrate understanding of the specific responsibilities they will take over when ownership is transferred, including title and insurance. The proposal must specifically discuss that the new owner will:

a) Maintain the bridge and the features that give the historic bridge its historic significance for a period of at least 20 years; and

b) Assume all future legal and financial responsibility for the historic bridge, which may include an agreement to hold the state transportation department harmless in any liability action.

Rehabilitation: Are there plans prepared for the rehabilitation of the structure on site? Do the plans meet the Secretary of the Interior Standard? In the case of disassembly, are disassembly plans prepared?

Requirements and studies: Describe any additional special requirements for the reuse of the bridge (e.g., if the bridge will be used for pedestrians, railing geometry and capacity restrictions for this use should be considered) and any additional studies or environmental clearances that are needed for the relocation, including potential archaeological survey of new site.

Cost estimate of the cost to relocate the structure and the reinstall at new site, including how funds will be obtained or raised.

Schedule: Outline of the proposed relocation schedule, addressing ability to have bridge off its current site by the scheduled replacement date (to be determined by LADOTD) and plans for temporary storage of the bridge, if needed.

If you have questions about the bridge or the process of submitting a proposal, please contact Kelsey Johnson at (225) 242-4505 or kelsey.johnson@la.gov.