Free to Good Home: 456-Foot Steel Bridge

Kentucky tries to give away a historic bridge

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Kentucky Department of Highways

Forget Adopt-a-Highway, the state of Kentucky wants to give you a bridge. Transportation officials in that state are trying to get rid of a 456-foot steel bridge built in 1929, offering it for free to anyone willing to take it. They’ll even foot the bill for disassembling the three-span bridge, plus delivery, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The bridge, located in rural eastern Kentucky, is scheduled to be replaced next year, and instead of demolishing it, officials are hoping someone, somewhere will give it a new home.

"It would work well as an entrance to a public park or for a walking trail," H.B. Elkins, a public information officer for the Kentucky Department of Highways, told the Herald-Leader. "Or if a private owner needed a 450-foot bridge to access their property."

The bridge is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, though it’s questionable how much of its historic value would come with it if it were moved. Stipulations from the state would require whomever takes the bridge to re-erect it and maintain it, at their own cost.

Kentucky has tried this sort of scheme before, offering bridges from two other counties. There were no takers.

Another bridge giveaway in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, lured six applicants back in 2006. Ideas included using the bridge at a campsite and to “enhance the surroundings” of a local historic home.

Written proposals for taking the bridge will be accepted by the Department of Highways through December 20. Or for the thieves who recently stole a bridge in rural Pennsylvania, your job just got a lot easier.

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.