News

Bridging the Past, Present & Future

March 3, 2021 - Central/Eastern Colorado

DENVER – The recent listing of 46 of the state’s bridges on this year’s list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places is a proactive, future-oriented endeavor by the Colorado Department of Transportation to preserve and prioritize a unique aspect of the state’s history.

In collaboration with Colorado Preservation, Inc., CDOT is undertaking an effort to recognize historic highway bridges around the state. The structures represent different designs and eras in bridge-building and were determined to be in the best physical condition.

“Colorado’s historic bridge structures are unique pieces of the cultural legacy and distinctive character of so many communities across our state," said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. "Receiving this nomination is an opportunity to both honor the heritage of our transportation system and a reminder that our system is aging and requires investment to maintain a state of good repair.” 

Although being recognized as one of CPI’s Most Endangered Places is often an immediate “call to action” for preservation, in this instance, the bridges listed are in good physical condition.  The purpose of the nomination is to build statewide awareness and advocacy for highway bridges as historic properties and highlight these structures as prime candidates for rehabilitation or repurposing when future repairs or replacement are needed due to safety requirements.  CDOT also wants to convey the importance of bridges to local and state history and encourage communities to consider their preservation and interpretation in future heritage tourism efforts and as part of improving and developing their transportation infrastructure.  

“Historic bridges reflect the diverse geography of the state and the challenges of traversing the variety of landscapes Colorado presents, be it mountains or plains,” said CDOT’s Senior Historian Lisa Schoch.  “Preserving these structures, some of which are considered iconic, is another way of telling the story of how Colorado’s highway system developed and the challenges that were required to maintain rural and urban connectivity and sustain the state’s economic and tourist-oriented growth.”  

View all 46 bridges here: https://www.codot.gov/news/2021/february-2021/assets/most-endangered-bridges.

See video below with more information on the historic bridges nomination:

CPI’s 2021 Most Endangered Places brochure can be viewed at: https://issuu.com/coloradopreservation/docs/2021_endangered_places_brochure

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal