Kentucky Department of Highways

Kentucky tries to give away a historic bridge

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

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a closed street in St. Louis
    Equity

    The Curious Tale of the St. Louis Street Barriers

    Thanks to an '80s mania for traffic calming, the St. Louis grid is broken by hundreds of bollards and cul-de-sacs. Critics say it’s time to get rid of them.

  2. Design

    A New Plan to Correct a Historic Mistake in Pittsburgh

    A Bjarke Ingels Group-led plan from 2015 has given way to a more “practical” design for the Lower Hill District. Concerns over true affordable housing remain.

  3. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  4. A crowded room of residents attend a local public forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Life

    Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

    Republican or Democrat, even if we battle over national concerns, research finds that in local politics, it seems we can all just get along—most of the time.

  5. A women-only subway car in Mexico City, Mexico
    Equity

    What’s the Best Way to Curb NYC Subway Harassment?

    While other countries have turned to women-only cars, New York legislators are proposing to ban repeat sex offenders and increase penalties for subway grinders.