IDOT Historic Bridges

IDOT Historic Bridges

Historic bridges are an important focus of the Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDOT) cultural resources programing. A delicate balance is required to design, build, and maintain safe transportation networks while seeking to preserve historically significant structures.

The ISAS Historic Section coordinates with IDOT to survey and document historic bridges impacted by roadwork and infrastructure maintenance in Illinois. This documentation often entails recording detailed information about the bridge according to standards established by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), the National Park Service, and the State of Illinois.

You can learn more about how architectural historians document bridges through a video series made in partnership with IDOT and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office. The videos offer commentary on the history and engineering of the bridges, and their importance to preservation and regional history.

Illinois Historic Bridge Series

The Illinois State Archaeological Survey has produced an Illinois Historic Bridge video series on YouTube, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, to heighten awareness and appreciation of historic bridges. These structures play an often overlooked role in our shared history. The videos offer commentary on the bridges, the significance of the engineering and materials that made them, and the importance of preservation and regional history.

Here is one of the videos in our series.



IDOT Historic Bridge Database

IDOT maintains a searchable database of historic bridges in Illinois. To be included in the Historic Bridge Survey, a bridge must be at least 50 years old and of historic significance.