Chapter 3: Procedures and Sequence


Section 1: Historic Bridge Team Process

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The Historic Bridge Team (HBT) is formed at the beginning of the project development process for all projects that may impact a historic bridge. The purpose of the HBT is to facilitate project development and to ensure that the most feasible and prudent project alternative is selected. This multidisciplinary group ensures that the required state and federal processes are completed.

The following section provides a general description of the Historic Bridge Team, its members, and their responsibilities, along with a sequential outline with expected time frames for managing historic bridge projects. A flowchart illustrating the procedures for projects involving historically significant highway bridges can be found on the TxDOT website.

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Historic Bridge Team Members

The HBT is led by the Bridge Division Project Manager (BRG PM) and is composed of District and Division personnel, in addition to other governmental entities and consulting parties with reviewing or consulting authority.

Core HBT members include:

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  • Bridge Division Project Manager (BRG PM). The BRG PM is responsible for leading the HBT, and is the main point of contact with the districts, divisions, and other bridge personnel concerning the funding, programming, and coordination of plan development. The BRG PM is responsible for developing the Historic Bridge Team report, which presents the structural alternatives analysis and cost estimates for the alternatives to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), local entities, and other consulting parties. Additional information about the HBT Report is presented in Section 3 of this chapter.
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  • Bridge Division Design Engineer (BRG DesE). The BRG DesE is responsible for conducting an in-depth structural analysis and developing design detail plan sheets. As the structural subject matter expert, the BRG DesE will conduct a site visit prior to plan development to identify any additional repairs not already described in the condition assessment or HBT report.
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  • Bridge Division Construction and Maintenance Engineer (BRG C/M). The BRG C/M is responsible for conducting historic bridge condition assessments, generally for on-system structures, and providing guidance on constructability and maintenance issues including painting systems, repair material selection, and structural repairs. Upon request by the District, the BRG C/M provides specialized construction inspections and other construction support during rehabilitation. Off-system condition assessments are generally handled by a BRG in-house consultant.
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  • District Bridge/Design Engineer (District BrgE/DesE). The District BrgE/DesE is responsible for the overall project development. The District BrgE/DesE provides information concerning roadway alignments, traffic usage, and other site specific information, and assists in developing the draft Need and Purpose Statement portion of the HBT report.
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  • District Environmental Coordinator/Specialist (District EC/ES). The District EC/ES is responsible for completion of the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, including the development of the draft Need and Purpose Statement portion of the HBT report. Additional information regarding NEPA documentation is available on the TxDOT ENV website. The District EC/ES develops Section 4(f) documentation, coordinates the Section 106 public involvement process, coordinates appropriate bridge marketing; and develops documentation for permit compliance and coordination.
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  • Environmental Affairs Division Historian (ENV HIST). The ENV HIST is responsible for leading the HBT through the cultural resource clearance process. The ENV HIST assists in the Section 106 public involvement coordination with SHPO and other consulting parties and coordinates the Section 4(f) document approval within ENV.
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  • Environmental Affairs Division Project Delivery Manager (ENV PDM). The ENV PDM is responsible for leading the HBT through the environmental clearance process.

Auxiliary HBT members include:

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  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA is responsible for providing guidance on preservation funding.
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  • Historic Bridge Foundation (HBF). The HBF is responsible for reviewing and commenting on historic bridge projects as a consulting party through THC.
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  • Local officials and other consulting parties. These individuals are responsible for assisting the core HBT and facilitating the appropriate project agreements, as needed.
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  • Texas Historical Commission (THC). The THC is responsible for reviewing and commenting on historic bridge projects as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

HBT members rarely meet as a formal group. Participation is based on an as-needed basis and depends on the nature, location, and complexity of the historic bridge being evaluated.

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Historic Bridge Team Process

The following table provides an overview of the project development process for historic bridges. The table includes the required activity, responsible party, and approximate time requirements.

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Process Step

Responsible Party




District BrgE/DesE and/or District EC/ES

Confirm bridge's historic status and eligibility with ENV HIST.

Request historic bridge condition assessment from BRG PM.

Provide BRG PM the last two inspection reports including structural member list, channel profiles, load rating calculations, photos, and existing plans, if available.

Relay general project goals: roadway is being realigned or local entity prefers to have bridge rehabilitated, etc.

15 hours over 1 month

District EC/ES

Develop a tentative project schedule using duration times presented in this table.

Request statement of historic significance from ENV HIST.

Develop draft Need and Purpose statement.



Request Historic Bridge Condition Assessment

  • Off-System Bridges

    Request a historic bridge condition assessment consultant work authorization from BRG Inspection Branch.

    NOTE: Request a condition assessment prior to executing an Advanced Funding Agreement with a local government. See Chapter 4 for more information.

4 months (+ 3 weeks to obtain work authorization)

  • On-System Bridges

    Request a historic bridge condition assessment from BRG Construction/Maintenance Branch.

3 months

OR: Request a historic bridge condition assessment consultant work authorization from BRG Inspection Branch.

4 months (+ 3 weeks to obtain work authorization)



Develop Statement of Historic Significance and provide to BRG PM and District EC/ES.

2 hours over 2 weeks


Develop draft HBT Report using findings and results of the condition assessment and routine inspections. The HBT report should include:

  • estimated construction costs for feasible alternatives using TxDOT’s unit costs;
  • estimated demolition cost, if federally funded.

Submit draft HBT Report to ENV HIST, District EC/ES, and District BrgE/DesE.

Request a scoping meeting and site visit.

40 hours over 1 month


HBT (BRG PM; District BrgE/DesE/ EC/ES; and ENV HIST)

Auxiliary HBT members (as needed)

Attend scoping meeting and site visit to:

  • discuss findings of the condition assessment and structural alternatives available to the historic bridge;
  • discuss roadway geometry, site constraints, traffic demand, type of traffic, and local needs; identify additional information for HBT and NEPA documents;
  • develop a plan for moving the project forward through the project development process and establish a project time line and action items.

Depending on the historic bridge being evaluated, the BRG DesE, BRG C/M and THC are strongly encouraged to attend scoping meeting and site visit.

1 day (held within 1 month of receipt of HBT report)


District BrgE

Coordinate with local government to explain condition of the historic bridge and potential structural alternatives.

Develop and obtain Off-System Advanced Funding Agreement.

6 hours over 2 months


District EC/ES

Develop NEPA documentation:

  • Revise Need and Purpose statement based on structural and functional project constraints
  • Develop Section 4(f) documentation, if required, according to the guidance provided on ENV’s website.

2 months (+ 18 hours for review)

Or, if requested by District, ENV HIST:

Acquire and manage consultant work authorization for the development of the Section 4(f) documentation

2 weeks to obtain work authorization + 3 months (+18 hours over the 3 months for ENV HIST to review and comment)

District EC/ES and ENV HIST

Manage additional historical studies report production, as required.

Develop a public involvement plan to meet Section 106 requirements, if needed. See TxDOT’s Environmental Handbook for more information.

Prepare public meeting handouts, if needed

15 hours over 3 months


Finalize draft HBT Report based on results of scoping meeting, site conditions, and revised Need and Purpose statement. Transmit draft HBT Report to ENV HIST for review.

12 hours over 1 week


Review and provide comments for draft HBT Report.

One day


District EC/ES and/or ENV PDM

Identify other environmental constraints (archeological, biological, wetlands) per NEPA process.

10 hours over 2 months

District EC/ES

Manage the development of the NEPA documentation

18 hours over 2 months


Provide final signed and sealed HBT report.

One day

District EC/ES and ENV HIST

Establish mitigation commitments and schedule.

Conduct preliminary marketing of the historic bridge if structure is unable to meet the minimum criteria for continued vehicular use. See Section 4 for more information.

Develop plan for implementing formal marketing efforts. More information can be found in ENV’s Historic Resources Toolkit.

36 hours over 2 months


District BrgE/DesE and/or District EC/ES

Coordinate with historic bridge owner/recipient to develop exhibits and mitigation proposals for the two- or three-party Advance Funding Agreement Amendment to the existing off-system bridge agreement, as required.

Coordinate draft exhibits with BRG PM and ENV HIST prior to partial execution of Amendment.

18 hours over 1 month


Conduct informal Section 106/Section 4(f) regulatory coordination process with SHPO, Historic Bridge Foundation (HBF), and other consulting parties, as needed.

15 hours over 3 months



Perform technical review of Section 4(f) documentation.

Coordinate partial execution of Amendment and forward to BRG PM

14 working days

District EC/ES

Conduct formal “marketing,” if required.

30 to 90 calendar days, at a minimum

District BrgE/DesE and/or District EC/ES


Coordinate the development of the structural plans based on the scope outlined in the Amendment, HBT report and/or Section 4(f) alternative analysis.

2 hours over 2 weeks


Develop structural details and specifications, as needed.

2 to 6 months based on complexity of historic bridge and extent of rehabilitation



Review preliminary draft 4(f).

4 hours over 1 week


District BrgE/DesE/ EC/ES

Provide mitigation proposal, as needed.

30 calendar days (legal sufficiency)


Conduct Section 106 regulatory coordination process with SHPO, Historic Bridge Foundation (HBF), and other consulting parties (as needed).


Provide technical support during coordination process, including presenting 60% structural plans, as required.



Review Section 4(f).

20 calendar days

(14 additional days if revisions to Section 4(f) documents are required)


District EC/ES

Complete NEPA documentation, integrating outcome of Section 106 coordination process and Section 4(f) findings.

30 calendar days


District EC/ES or ENV PM

Coordinate NEPA documentation (Section 4(f), etc.).

30 calendar days


Review and manage final ENV approval of Section 4(f) documentation.


District EC/ES

Finalize NEPA documentation and schedule public meeting/hearing.

Up to 2 months



Issue project final approval.

30 to 60 calendar days

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Other Considerations

Hazardous Materials. Many historic structures contain hazardous materials, particularly lead paint and asbestos, which may be removed or disturbed in the course of rehabilitation, relocation, or demolition. These materials can pose environmental and health risks if not appropriately mitigated. See Item 6, “Control of Materials,” of TxDOT’s Standard Specifications for the Construction and Maintenance of Highways, Streets, and Bridges for hazardous material mitigation measures.

Any local entity owning or receiving a bridge with hazardous material and choosing to not abate the hazard, must sign a special agreement releasing TxDOT’s responsibility of the hazardous material prior to letting the project.

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