Historic significance of Depression-era bridges studied statewide
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation needed the bridges and road-related resources across the state constructed during the Depression era evaluated for historic significance. We completed this complex multi-phase project by developing a historic context focused on federal work-relief programs and funding in the state. We also produced a tailored National Register of Historic Places evaluation criteria to identify which structures have a direct and important association with Depression-era programs.
The project involved extensive archival research, review of the original bridge and road as-built plans, and local research completed in communities across the state. Our team then used the evaluation criteria to evaluate over 5,000 structures built between 1933 and 1945. For this effort, we assessed National Register eligibility for individual structures and concentrations of structures as historic districts. The project assisted ODOT in the successful implementation of a Programmatic Agreement to streamline projects that include these Depression-era bridges.